No new coronavirus cases in China for the first time - "Major achievements" says government
China recorded zero new COVID-19 cases in the country on Saturday for the first time since data was being reported in January. The announcement comes a day after Communist Party leaders celebrated the nation's "major achievements" in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Premier Li Keqiang said the nation has "made major strategic achievements in response to COVID-19" about the landmark achievement during the opening of China's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress. Having said that, Li maintained caution and issued a warning saying there are still "immense" challenges ahead that the country has got to face.
China has since the outbreak of the virus in December last year in Wuhan city brought the spread of the virus under control to a relatively large extent after the number of cases saw a radical spike upwards in mid-February. With a population of 1.4 billion, the overall death toll in the country at present stands at 4,634 and is considerably less than the number of casualties in much smaller nations. That said, there has also been quite a lot of debate on the reliability of the numbers produced by China, which the United States has been questioning for sometime now and the information Beijing has been sharing with the international community.
There has been a lot of criticism against the authorities in Wuhan for censuring doctors who raised the alarm about the virus first last year. Doubts have also been cast on China's official data after repeated changes to the number of deaths in the city as well. On the flip side, Beijing has strongly denied accusations of secrecy and have stated that information is being shared on a timely basis with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries.
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