China has no new infections of the coronavirus domestically for the first time since the start of a crisis that has sickened about 81,000 Chinese people. This good news includes the Chinese province of Hubei, where the disease originated in the city of Wuhan more than two months ago.
The coronavirus pandemic has threatened to push China’s economy, which is the second-largest in the world after the US, into its first quarterly contraction in decades. China is not the only victim of the coronavirus pandemic since the virus has spread to almost every country in the world, affecting over 212,000 individuals and killed about 10,000.
Some countries have been adversely hit, such as Italy prompting to closing their borders, canceling schools, and shutting restaurants. Sports and music festivals have been postponed, while travel and supply chains have been disrupted. Speculations from economists project a loss of $2.7 trillion from the world’s gross domestic product.
The relief for Hubei province is good news for China as it strives to recover after being hammered by Covid-19 since January. Hubei province, which has a population of about 60-million people, is still under mass quarantine while grappling with the aftermath of lockdown measures that have caused massive social and economic damage.
According to medical professionals and health officials, it’s not yet over for China as the second wave of infections faces the country despite people within China resuming work and social activities given how contagious the coronavirus is and how easily it slips past country borders.
The National Health Commission of China reported 34 new coronavirus cases for March 18, in which all of them brought the disease from other countries. This creates a new challenge for China due to these imported cases despite the numbers dwindling to zero in Hubei province.
According to a renowned Chinese infectious disease expert Zhong Nanshan, China should watch out for “very infectious” cases among travelers entering China from other countries, as some show no symptoms at first.
The nature of the coronavirus raises concerns due to the risk of a resurgence. The coronavirus is harder to detect and lingers longer than the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003, which infected 8,000 people before fading out.
Consequently, as most countries around the world wrestle with how far to close down civic life, they’ll be monitoring China, where the virus first emerged last December. This is to see what happens when it lifts the harsh lockdowns and social distancing measures that have helped control its outbreak.