China coronavirus
China coronavirus
(Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)

Beijing: China on Friday reported seven more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus infection, taking the death toll to 3,176, while the new confirmed cases were just eight, as the disease continued to abate across the country, including in its epicentre Wuhan.

China's National Health Commission (NHC) said it received reports of the seven deaths from the Chinese mainland on Thursday. While six people died in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, one died in Shandong province.

The eight new confirmed cases were also from the Chinese mainland, it said. Meanwhile, 33 new suspected cases were reported in the country, taking the total number to 147, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

As of Thursday, 1,318 people were discharged from hospital after recovery, while the number of severe cases dropped to 4,020.

The overall confirmed cases on the mainland reached 80,813 by the end of Thursday. This included 3,176 who died of the disease, 13,526 patients still being treated and 64,111 people discharged after recovery, the report said.

Three new "imported COVID-19 cases" (people arriving from abroad) -- two in Shanghai and one in Beijing -- were reported on Thursday, taking the total number of such cases to 88, the NHC said.

As of Thursday, there were total 131 confirmed cases, including three deaths, in Hong Kong, 10 confirmed cases in Macao and 49, including one death, in Taiwan.

Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the NHC, on Thursday said the peak of the novel coronavirus in the country is over, but its success in controlling the deadly disease has become complicated due to the global surge in the COVID-19 cases.

In China, there is a drop in new cases and the overall epidemic situation remains at a low level, Mi told media here.

Mi's remarks came a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a "pandemic".

It was over three months of an arduous struggle for China to bring the viral infection under control. Though Wuhan confirmed the surfacing of a new virus in December last, the government started taking action only from January 23 when it locked down the Hubei province and its capital Wuhan with over 50 million people.

By that time, over five million residents of the city had left for holidays to different parts of China and the world to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The highly contagious virus quickly spread, with daily cases peaking at over 15,000 on February 12.

China mobilised the whole country's resources to contain the virus. Cities were locked down, experts and supplies sent to the epicentre, and millions of people across the country stayed at home for weeks to enforce social distancing.

By this week, normalcy has been steadily returning to China with many provinces and regions lowering their emergency responses, while many businesses resuming their operations.

By Thursday, 87 per cent of the country's entry and exit authorities resumed services, Xinhua reported.

However, China's good news is complicated by rapidly developing situations around the world and the growing number of imported cases, it said.

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