China on Thursday reported no new domestic transmissions of coronavirus for the first time since the deadly virus surfaced three months ago, achieving a milestone in its battle against the pandemic that has brought the country to a grinding halt and caused an unprecedented global health crisis.
While no domestic cases were reported, Wuhan, where the outbreak began, still has 6,636 people in hospitals including 1,809 in severe condition and 465 in critical condition, local health commission said.
China now faces a greater threat of infections of imported cases, which jumped by 34 on Wednesday with large number of Chinese and foreigners arriving back to join their duties.
While zero domestic cases is a major milestone, which heralds the end of domestically generated Covid-19 cases, China, however, continues to grapple with mounting death toll which climbed to 3,245 on Wednesday with eight more fatalities.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland reached 80,928 by the end of Wednesday highlighting the scale of the cases China dealt with, making coronavirus perhaps the worst health tragedy in the country's history.
The total included 3,245 people who died of the disease 7,263 patients still undergoing treatment and 70,420 patients discharged after recovery.
By the end of Wednesday, 192 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in Hong Kong, 15 confirmed cases in the Macao and 100 in Taiwan including one death, China's National Health Commission (NHC) said.
Over 42,000 medical personnel including hundreds of doctors and nurses drawn from different parts of the country and the military were deployed in Wuhan and Hubei to bring the virus under control.
Over 3,000 medical staff were reported to have contracted the virus with 10 deaths.
Over 56 million people belonging to area continued to languish in lockdown situation with a ban on all public and private transportation since January 23.
As the virus abated, China began to limp back to normalcy.
While the economic cost of the outbreak for China is stated to be in hundreds of billions of dollars, the political cost especially for the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and President Xi Jinping is yet to unravel as the country is still engrossed in fighting the virulent virus.
Meanwhile, Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido on Thursday lifted a state of emergency declared last month over the new coronavirus, saying it sees signs of the outbreak tapering off. The governor of Hokkaido prefecture announced the emergency measure on February 28, as infections in the region grew.