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Thursday, February 20, 2020, 16:30
Hubei sees big drop in new cases with 349 infections reported
By Xinhua
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 16:30 By Xinhua

Patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus pneumonia pose for photos with medical staff at Taikang Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province, Feb 19, 2020. (SHEN BOHAN / XINHUA)

WUHAN/BEIJING - Chinese health authorities Thursday said it received reports of 394 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 114 deaths on Wednesday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Hubei province, center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, saw a sharp drop in the number of new confirmed infections, with 349 cases reported Wednesday, compared to the 1,693 new cases on Tuesday.

There were 349 new confirmed infections reported in Hubei province on Wednesday, compared to the 1,693 new cases reported on Tuesday

The latest number of new infections in Hubei brings the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 62,031. 

On Wednesday, the province also recorded 108 new deaths Wednesday, according to the provincial health commission.

READ MORE: Outbreak in epicenter 'gradually brought under control'

According to local health authorities, no new confirmed cases were reported Wednesday in nine provincial-level regions of China, namely Liaoning, Fujian, Shanxi, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guizhou, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai. 

Besides the 108 fatalities in Hubei on Wednesday, one death was reported in Hebei, Shanghai, Fujian, Shandong, Yunnan and Shaanxi, respectively, according to the National Health Commission.

The daily number of new cases has fallen for three consecutive days since Monday, when it dropped to 1,886, for the first time under 2,000 since Jan 31.

Also, the daily number of new confirmed cases outside Hubei has dropped for the 16th day since Feb 3, data showed.

READ MORE: Progress seen in epidemic fight

In addition, the daily number of new cases of recovered patients who were discharged from hospital has surpassed that of the number of new confirmed infections for the second consecutive day, according to the commission.

The daily number of new cases outside Hubei dropped for the 16th day, while the daily number of discharged patients surpassed the daily number of new infections for the 2nd day

Wednesday saw 1,779 patients discharged from hospital after recovery, the commision said.

A total of 16,155 patients had recovered and had been discharged from hospital by the end of Wednesday, the commission added.

Citing the data, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the commission, said later in the day that the efficacy of the medical treatment used for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus was obvious.

ALSO READ: China sees rising recovery rate of coronavirus patients

Another 1,277 new suspected cases were reported Wednesday, said the commission. In total, 4,922 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 74,576 by the end of Wednesday, and 2,118 people had died of the disease.

The commission said 589,163 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 25,318 were released from medical observation Wednesday, with 126,363 others still under medical observation.

By the end of Wednesday, 65 confirmed cases including two deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 24 in Taiwan including one death.

Five patients in Hong Kong, six in Macao and two in Taiwan have been discharged from hospital after recovery.

WHO experts in Guangdong, Sichuan

Two teams of experts sent by the World Health Organization (WHO) were working with their Chinese counterparts in the provinces of Guangdong and Sichuan, respectively, from Feb 18 to 19, said the commission's spokesperson.

The experts visited local medical institutes and disease control and prevention organizations for field research, said Mi.

The experts also held talks with the provincial and municipal health authorities, said Mi. 

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