China partially lifts ban on traffic, resumes production in Hubei
Robie de Guzman • March 26, 2020 • 133
China’s Hubei, the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, started returning to normal on Wednesday (March 25) as authorities lifted two months of counter-epidemic restrictions that locked down the province and its capital Wuhan.
Mainland China also reported a drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases as imported infections fell and no locally transmitted infections were reported.
Traffic controls were eased at midnight in Hubei, while the lockdown of Wuhan will be lifted on April 8, a milestone in China’s war against the epidemic as Beijing shifts its focus towards stemming imported cases and rebooting the economy.
People were also able to leave Hubei by train and bus, while the Wudang Mountains, a top scenic site, reopened for visitors, according to state media. Construction work and agriculture production also resumed in the province.
In other parts of the country, authorities have continued to impose tougher screening and quarantine and have diverted international flights from Beijing to other Chinese cities, but that has not stemmed the influx of Chinese nationals, many of whom are students returning home from virus-hit countries. (Reuters)
China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.
Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.
The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)
A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).
“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.
“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”
The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)
A massive forest fire in southwestern China has killed 19 people, according to a state media report on Tuesday (March 31).
Eighteen firefighters and a local guide were confirmed dead, from a group of 21 firefighters who went to fight the blaze that had spread over more than 1,000 hectares of land near Xichang, a city in Sichuan province.
The fire started on a farm on Monday (March 30) afternoon and quickly spread to nearby mountains due to strong winds, according to local reports.
Flames and heavy smoke were seen drifting into the sky, posing a threat to a nearby town — including a gas storage station about 70 meters away from parts of the fire.
“This place (the gas station) is by far the most dangerous place in this forest fire in Xichang,” said Zhang Shanhu, a member of the local fire and rescue team.
Police have evacuated more than 1,200 people from the area, and local authorities have organized over 2,000 people to fight the blaze. (Reuters)
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