Beijing, March 20 (IANS) Mainland China has recorded no new domestic coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, and also the lowest number of new deaths due to the deadly disease in two months, the National Health Commission said on Friday.
The Commission said all 39 new infections, as of Thursday, had been imported from abroad, reports the South China Morning Post newspaper.
Three new fatalities were reported – the lowest since January 21, two days before China announced unprecedented measures to lock down the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
Mainland China has reported 80,967 infections and 3,248 deaths in total.
There were 31 new suspected cases nationwide, none of which are in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.
Also on Friday, local authorities said that all the cities and counties in Hubei, except for Wuhan, had been labelled due to the declining numbers of cases and deaths, Xinhua news agency reported.
Four areas listed as medium-risk areas on Monday, consisting of the city of Zhongxiang as well as the urban areas of the cities of Huangshi, Huanggang and Ezhou, had turned to low risk on Thursday.
However, the urban area of the provincial capital Wuhan remained at a high-risk level, said an expert assessment conducted by the provincial centre for disease prevention and control.
Outside China, the pandemic was escalating. Italy announced 427 new deaths on Thursday, pushing its total to 3,405, which exceeded the total fatalities recorded across mainland China, reports the South China Morning Post.
Italy also has the world's second-highest number of diagnosed cases, 41,035, after China. At least five doctors in Italy were among the dead.
China has sent a team of experts to Italy to share their experiences of containing the outbreak. One of them described the coronavirus measures adopted in the Lombardy region as “lax”.
In the US, there were currently more than 13,000 confirmed cases with 176 deaths, according to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University.
As of Friday, the global number of confirmed cases stood at 233,839, while the death toll was 9,840. These figures include the China tally.