Health official: Coronavirus peak is over in China

By WND Staff


With a marked slowdown in new infections at the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, China’s top health commission says the virus has passed its peak in the communist nation.

Businesses in Wuhan and Hebei Province have reopened while authorities cautiously ease travel restrictions.

“Broadly speaking, the peak of the epidemic has passed for China,” said Mi Feng, a spokesman for the National Health Commission.

“The increase of new cases is falling,” he said.

Hubei’s economy had been virtually shut down since Jan. 23.

On Monday, for the first time since the coronavirus was first identified last year, there are now more reported cases outside of China than inside, CNN reported.

China’s National Health Commission reported that as of the end of Sunday, the country had 16 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths, for a total of 80,860.

More than 67,00 patients have recovered.

The infection rate has surged, however, in Italy. Europe’s hardest hit country now has more than 24,000 cases. Nearly 14,000 cases have been recorded in Iran, and Spain has at least 7,000.

More than 3,800 people have tested positive in the U.S. and at least 80 have died.

Worldwide, there are more than 181,000 cases and more than 7,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Pence warns China

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on China’s Communist Party to halt disinformation claiming the coronavirus was first spread in China by the U.S. Army.

Pompeo made the comments in a phone call to Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, the Washington Times reported.

According to a statement issued by the State Department, Pence “conveyed strong U.S. objections to PRC efforts to shift blame for COVID-19 to the United States.”

“The secretary stressed that this is not the time to spread disinformation and outlandish rumors, but rather a time for all nations to come together to fight this common threat.”

Reuters reported Yang, according to state-run Chinese television, told Pompeo that any attempt to smear China for its efforts to counter the coronavirus “will not succeed.”

Last week, White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien criticized China’s early handling of the outbreak in Wuhan, saying it “covered up.”

Communist authorities imprisoned or silenced doctors who sought to disclose the virus, he told the Heritage Foundation.

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