BEIJING (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in China continues to decline, even as the epidemic takes hold in other parts of the world, after three countries surpassed 1,000 infections and the United States reported its sixth death. China’s Health Ministry announced Tuesday that only 125 new cases were detected in the last 24 hours, the lowest figure in the country since January 20. A further 31 deaths were reported, all in Hubei province, the one most affected by the outbreak. In total, China reached 80,151 cases and 2,943 deaths.
The global change in the COVID-19 epidemic became evident when 2,410 recovered patients were discharged from hospitals and treatment centers in Hubei, many of them built expeditiously in recent weeks to deal with the thousands of people infected by the virus. But the number of new infections outside China was much higher. Infectious outbreaks increased in South Korea, Italy and Iran, and the virus first occurred in New York, Moscow and Berlin, as well as in Latvia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Jordan and Portugal. The death toll globally exceeded 3,000 and there are more than 89,000 infections in some 70 countries. Global health authorities are trying to assure the public that the virus remains a manageable threat.
«Containment is possible and should remain a priority for all countries,» said World Health Organization (WHO) President Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The crisis has transformed the daily routine of millions of people around the world. In Japan, the children stayed at home instead of attending schools, which will remain closed until April. Quarantined Israelis used special polling stations to vote in national elections. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was rejected by her interior minister when she reached out to greet him. And the United Nations postponed a major conference on women that was expected to attract 12,000 participants from its 193 member countries to New York next week. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that the global economy could contract in the current quarter for the first time since the international financial crisis of more than a decade ago. «The overall economic outlook remains moderate and very uncertain,» the agency said.