Stay vigilant and avoid going out | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:04 AM, April 04, 2020

Stay vigilant and avoid going out

Wuhan people told as authorities fear second wave of infection

The top official in China's coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan warned residents to stay vigilant and avoid going out, even as the latest data showed a decline in new cases in the mainland and no new infections in the central city.

The country where the virus emerged late last year will observe three minutes of silence nationwide today to mourn the thousands of "martyrs" who died in the fight against the pandemic, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Air raid sirens and the horns of automobiles, trains and ships will "wail in grief" after the silence, to be observed at 10:00 am, it added.

China appears to have curbed the epidemic with draconian curbs that paralysed the world's second-biggest economy for two months.

Yesterday, the National Health Commission reported 31 new cases, down from 35 a day earlier and dramatically lower than February's peak. All but two involved travellers from overseas.

Total infections on the mainland, a figure that excludes asymptomatic patients, stand at 81,620, while the death toll rose by four to 3,322. Worldwide, the number of cases has topped 1 million, with at least 52,000 deaths.

Beijing has pushed industries to return to work as the epidemic eases, hoping for a quick recovery from what many analysts expect to have been a deep contraction of China's economy in the first quarter.

Officials are concerned about the risk of a second wave of infections. The threat of a rebound in Wuhan remains high, said Wang Zhonglin, chief of its Communist Party, ordering residents to avoid leaving their homes unless necessary.

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