• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

China’s Virus Cases Reach Zero as Experts Warn Second Wave Likely

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China has no new infections of the coronavirus domestically for the first time since the start of a crisis that has sickened over 80,000 Chinese people. But what could be a sign the country has defeated the fatal pathogen is likely to just be a temporary reprieve.

While the outbreak’s epicenter has shifted to Europe, where there are now more cases being reported daily than at the height of China’s crisis, epidemiologists warn that the Asian giant could face subsequent waves of infections, based on patterns seen in other pandemics.

There were no new cases reported Thursday in Wuhan, the city in central Chinese Hubei province from which the outbreak began. There have been no new cases in the rest of the country for seven days, a dramatic plunge from the height of an outbreak that killed more than 3,000, and caused a historic economic contraction.

For now, the Chinese government is focused on cracking down on “imported cases” as infections in travellers entering China outnumber domestic cases, according to data from the National Health Commission.

There have been 189 cases of infection in total among travellers entering China. In Beijing, all inbound visitors must now spend 14 days after arrival in specified quarantine locations, the cost of which they must foot themselves. The Chinese capital is also likely to order flights to stop in nearby cities to test passengers before they can journey on to Beijing.

Financial hub Shanghai and manufacturing center Guangdong are also tightening restrictions.