China Claims Peak of Coronavirus Epidemic Has Passed As New Cases Decline and More Than 60,000 Have Recovered

Chinese officials have claimed that the country has passed the peak of the coronavirus outbreak that has spread worldwide and put tens of millions of under lock down.

A spokesperson from the country's National Health Commission and the deputy director of the Department of Publicity held a press conference Thursday to say that the peak of the epidemic has now passed and that the number of new cases is declining, the state-backed Xinhua news agency reported.

Mi Feng, the NHC spokesperson, told reporters, "Broadly speaking, the peak of the epidemic has passed for China… The increase of new cases is falling," according to Reuters.

The officials noted that medical treatment work will remain the top priority and that work to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus will continue.

The coronavirus outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in December 2019. China has dealt with more than 80,900 cases, 3,100 deaths and more than 63,000 recoveries, according to, which compiles data from the National Health Commission and regional government sources.

Reuters noted that Chinese authorities recorded eight new infections in Hubei, which marks the first time since the outbreak that the province recorded a daily tally of fewer than 10. As the number of new infections fall, Hubei will lift certain travel restrictions and will allow some industries to resume production.

The outbreak has spread across the globe with more than 126,000 infections and more than 4,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 68,000 people have recovered so far.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the outbreak a pandemic—the first since the H1N1 "swine flu" in 2009.

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A medical staff member works at Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on March 11, 2020. STR/AFP via Getty Images/Getty

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.

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