China reported no new local infections of coronavirus on Thursday (March 19) and it is a significant because this is for the first time since the outbreak of deadly virus in China around three months ago.
The success in controlling the outbreak is seen as a remarkable turnaround for the Chinese government which has been facing severe criticism for initially concealing and mismanaging the outbreak when it first started in Wuhan.
According to critics, the initial missteps allowed the virus to spread uncontrolled across Wuhan, forcing Beijing to impose tough travel restrictions and place millions of people under lockdown to curb the spread of deadly virus.
Notably, China also faced flak for its tough approach but experts maintained that it played an important role in bringing down the number of positive cases and curbing the economic loss.
It is ti be noted that though China has achieved zero local infections but that does not mean zero new cases.
According to Chinese government officials, 34 new cases were confirmed on Thursday but these were among people who had arrived from elsewhere. “It’s very clear that the actions taken in China have almost brought to an end their first wave of infections,” said Ben Cowling, the head of the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at Hong Kong University’s School of Public Health to New York Times. “The question is what will happen if there’s a second wave because the kind of measures that China has implemented are not necessarily sustainable in the long term,” he added.
Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping, had called for a “people’s war” against the pandemic and the local media have been praising the government for responding in time to check the outbreak of the deadly virus to other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the global death toll from coronavirus crossed 8,000 on Wednesday and the number of global infections topped 200,000. Most of the deaths have been recorded in Europe and Asia, where the outbreak of deadly virus originated in China.