After over a month of strict quarantine measures, new cases of the coronavirus have slowed in China in recent days.
At the outbreak’s peak in early February, China would announce around 1,000 new cases a day. But over the last two days, Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, has announced just one new case a day. China as a whole reported 39 new cases between Monday and Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been a reported 80,894 cases of COVID-19 in China and 3,237 people have died.
China is slowly returning to normal life, and leaders have allowed workers in Hubei province to return to closed factories over the last week, the Associated Press reported.
However, the country has strictly limited who can enter the country and is quarantining any new arrivals. State media propaganda is claiming that they have defeated the virus, according to TIME, and a new book from China’s official press agency Xinhua claims that President Xi Jinping’s “outstanding leadership as a great power leader” is how they beat COVID-19.
China has long been the country with the most cases and deaths, but with the severe outbreak still ongoing in Italy, they will likely soon overtake China. Italy now has 35,713 cases, an increase of 3,233 between Monday and Tuesday, and 2,978 people have died.
Italy, along with Spain and France, is now under quarantine in an attempt to slow the virus’ spread. In northern Italy, which has seen the largest outbreak, all schools, bars, theaters and nightclubs are closed and all religious ceremonies, including funerals or weddings, are postponed. Residents are allowed out to pick up necessities like groceries or medicine, but are to otherwise stay inside.
The U.S. is now looking at Italy as a warning of what could happen if people do not stay inside and practice social distancing. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are at least 7,047 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 121 people have died. In response, public schools are closed in some form in every state, American workers who can are teleworking and many cities and states have closed bars and restaurants to reduce human contact and further spread.
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