AGENCIES, Beijing: China, the country which reported the first cases of coronavirus in January and bore the brunt of 81,740 COVID-19 infected cases and a total of 3,331 deaths from the disease can now take a breather as the number of new deaths has been trending downwards in since the beginning of March.
It’s a scenario that contrasts with the US and some European countries, where till now show no signs of the pandemic abating.
Close to home is Japan, which is also facing turmoil and is expected to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday. The global number of coronavirus deaths is over 70,000.
China has enforced lockdowns, which has helped contain the spread and gradually cities are limping back to normal. Pollution levels are rising indicating manufacturing activity has been resumed.
However, some restrictions remain in place including a ban on cinemas reopening.
What is bothering Chinese authorities is the possibility of a new wave of infections from Chinese nationals or foreigners returning home from abroad. Despite this risk, China is continuing with repatriation flights for its estimated 1.6 million people currently stuck overseas.
On Monday, China witnessed 32 new cases of imported infection from people who arrived from Russia. The tally of known imported cases stands at 983. Of these, nearly 700 remain in hospital, with 21 in severe condition.
On Monday, testing also revealed 30 asymptomatic cases – people who have been infected, but show no symptoms — the commission reported on Tuesday.