© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

China Reports Its First Day With No New COVID-19 Deaths

China on Tuesday reported no deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since it began publishing data about the outbreak more than two months ago.

The milestone comes a day before the government is set to lift outbound travel restrictions on people in Wuhan, the country's hardest-hit city.

With a population of more than 10 million people, Wuhan has been under lockdown since Jan. 23 in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19. The first cases of infection with the coronavirus were detected in Wuhan in December.

Chinese data shows that transmission has been suppressed domestically, and hot spots have shifted overseas. In recent days, most new cases in China have been imported from abroad, including 32 on Monday.

Deaths in China from the virus have been in the single digits since March 19, according to the National Health Commission.

It said that as of midnight April 6, China had detected a total of 81,740 cases, with 3,331 deaths.

Still, the government has been preaching vigilance to fend off a resurgence in infections, as social-distancing rules are lifted around the country and life begins to return to normal.

Over the weekend, pictures circulated online of huge crowds at Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain, one of the country's most popular tourist sites, in southeastern Anhui province. Authorities had to close the park when the number of visitors exceeded the daily maximum of 20,000 people.

In a Monday editorial about the Huangshan crowds, the China Daily newspaper warned that it is too early to "throw caution to the winds."

"The humongous efforts tens of thousands of medical workers and municipal staff have made to largely contain the virus in China could be wasted if people become careless," it said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Ruwitch is a correspondent with NPR's international desk. He covers Chinese affairs.