Xi Jinping arrives in Wuhan to inspect coronavirus control work

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, for an inspection of epidemic control and prevention work on Tuesday, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Xi will visit frontline medical workers, military officers, social workers, police, local residents and grassroots Communist Party cadres, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

His trip comes as China reported its lowest number of new cases on Tuesday since the daily reporting on infections began seven weeks ago.

Chinese health authorities reported 19 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 17 deaths nationwide, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the National Health Commission.

Seventeen of the new cases and all 17 new deaths were recorded in Hubei province, where the outbreak of the disease caused by the virus, Covid-19, first occurred in December last year.

The capital Beijing and Guangdong province confirmed one new case each, as the data continues to show containment of the virus within Hubei and a drop-off in the number of new cases and deaths within the province.

At its peak, thousands of new cases and over a hundred new deaths were being recorded daily in China. In a single day in February, Hubei alone reported over 14,000 new cases and 242 deaths.

Across China, 3,136 people have died from Covid-19.

South Korea also reported a slowdown in the virus’s spread on Tuesday with 131 new cases, which represents its lowest one-day increase of confirmed cases in two weeks.

The nation’s total number of infections is now 7,513, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

The total number of deaths in South Korea rose by three overnight to 54, the KCDC said.

About 63 per cent of confirmed cases have been linked to a branch of the Shincheonji religious sect in the city of Daegu, news agency Yonhap reports.

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Meanwhile, the total number of death worldwide passed 4000, according to a tally by the US-based Johns Hopkins university on Monday.

Out of a total of 80,754 infections, 59,897 people have so far recovered from the illness, according to the new figures.

In eastern China, the death toll from the collapse of a hotel that was being used as a coronavirus quarantine facility rose to 20 by Tuesday morning, according to local authorities.

Xinjia Hotel in the Licheng district of Quanzhou, Fujian province collapsed on Saturday evening, trapping 71 people. 

Emergency responders have so far rescued 59 from the rubble. Twelve people remain missing.

The seven-storey building, constructed seven years earlier, was undergoing renovations on the lower floors when the accident occurred, according to local media reports.

At a State Council news conference held on Tuesday afternoon, authorities announced that the building had undergone “multiple instances of remodelling against regulations” and called the tragedy “a lesson paid for in blood” in enforcing construction standards. 

The owner of the building has been held in police custody since the collapse. (dpa)

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