Coronavirus infections in Wuhan – the place of the virus’ origin – are expected to dry up by mid-to-late March, reports suggest. China Daily, owned by the Publicity Department of the China’s Communist Party, first broke the news, adding that the lockdown of the central Chinese city may be lifted once there are no new cases for 14 days.
The publication, however, explained that strict disease control and prevention measures will still be needed to prevent a possible rebound.
There are fears that after a 14-day virus free lockdown is lifted, another surging outbreak of the virus might commence.
Epidemiologist, Li Lanjuan, is the director of China’s State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
She explained the need to take extra precautions when allowing those in quarantine to leave their homes.
She told China Daily: “If no new case of the coronavirus has been reported for 14 consecutive days in Wuhan following the last reported case, we believe it will be the time when the lockdown can be gradually lifted.
“We expect new cases will cease to appear in mid or late March.
“After the lockdown is loosened, we still need to strictly carry out routine measures to prevent and control the virus to prevent a possible rebound of the outbreak.”
Wuhan has been on lockdown since mid-January and remains the only city in the Hubei province still designated as “high-risk”.
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It remains subject to strict travel bans.
As of 18 March, the death toll from coronavirus in Hubei stood at 3,130.
This accounted for more than a third of the 8,000 global deaths.
But, in what many hope to be a sign of things to come, Wuhan reported no new cases on Wednesday for the first time since the outbreak.
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Mainland China in general is seeing fewer local transmissions.
It last reported 34 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said, all of which are imported infections.
Despite things seemingly settling down in China, in the UK, the virus and its intensity continues to increase.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of stringent plans in an attempt to curb the virus’ spread.
Some of these measures included advising Britons to avoid bars, clubs, and restaurants.
Downing Street also asked for all unnecessary travel to come to a stop.
Meanwhile, in London, where the virus has taken a hold the most, 40 London underground stations are set to close from today.
It comes as reports suggest the city is preparing to enter a full-scale lockdown towards the end of the week.
From Friday, schools in England and Wales will close their doors for the foreseeable future, while decisions are still to be made in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
GCSE and A-level exams – set to commence from next week – will now be postponed.
Mr Johnson is expected to give another of his government’s daily virus briefings today.
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