CHINA reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks on Wednesday, augmenting a forecast by Beijing’s senior medical adviser for the outbreak in the country to end by April – but fears of further international spread remained.
The newly 2,015 cases confirmed raised China’s total to 44,653. That was the lowest daily rise since Jan. 30 and came a day after epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said the prevalent should peak in China this month before subsiding.
His comments gave some balm to public fears and to markets, where global stocks surged to record highs on hopes of an end to disruption in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s state news agency Xinhua called the epidemic a “battle that has no gunpowder smoke” and chided some officials for “dropping the ball” in some places
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China’s latest figures also showed that the number of deaths on the mainland rose by 97 to 1,113 by the end of Tuesday.
The disease caused by the virus has been named COVID-19 – CO for corona, VI for virus, D for disease and 19 for the year that it emerged. The virus itself, designated SARS-CoV-2, is suspected to have originated in a market illegally trading wildlife in Hubei province’s capital of Wuhan in December.
The city of 11 million people remains under virtual lockdown as part of China’s unprecedented measures to seal infected regions and limit transmission routes.
Moves by Washington and others to curb visitors from China have offended Beijing, which says they are an over-reaction.