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The Chinese city that has been the epicentre of coronavirus has reached a massive milestone in the fight against the pandemic.
The day has come. For the first time since the outbreak began, authorities record NO new cases in #Wuhan or Hubei, and just 1 domestic transmission. The overall numbers for mainland China are rising though to 34 in total - mainly in #Beijing - all overseas arrivals. pic.twitter.com/idMXBY9Pkl
- Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) March 19, 2020
For the first time since the outbreak began, Wuhan has recorded no new cases, according to China's health ministry.
There have been thousands of cases of Covid-19 in the Chinese city, with many forced into lockdown to prevent its spread.
Health officials added that there have been 34 new cases of Covid-19 across China, all of whom came from abroad, and there have been eight new deaths.
Of the 34 cases, 21 of them were located in Beijing, nine were in Guangdong, two in Shanghai and one each in Zhejiang and Heilongjing.
This takes China's total number of cases to 80,928, and 3,245 deaths.
China's Health Ministry added: "There still remained 7,263 confirmed cases (including 2,314 in serious condition) and 105 suspected cases.
"So far, 683,281 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 9,144 are now under medical observation."
China has taken swift measures to ensure the transmission of the virus remains at a minimum, including mass lockdowns, city-wide disinfections and constructing hospitals in mere days.
Hong Kong University's School of Public Health's head of the division of epidemiology and biostatistics Ben Cowling told the New York Times: "It's very clear that the actions taken in China have almost brought to an end their first wave of infections.
"The question is what will happen if there's a second wave because the kind of measures that China has implemented are not necessarily sustainable in the long term."
At its height, China instructed 10 million people to stay indoors as it grappled with the outbreak of the virus.
The country has been commended on its quick-acting to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 218,000 people and killed 8,900 people globally.
World Health Organisation representative in China, Dr. Gauden Galea, has told UN News: "It is an epidemic that has been nipped as it was growing and stopped in its tracks. This is very clear from the data that we have, as well as the observations that we can see in society in general.
"So that's a big lesson: that the natural course of the outbreak does not need to be a very high peak that overwhelms health services.
"This lesson in containment, therefore, is a lesson that other countries can learn from and adapt for their own circumstances".
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