China's Xi visits Wuhan as new coronavirus cases recede

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 3 weeks ago - Duration: 01:44s

China's Xi visits Wuhan as new coronavirus cases recede

President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan, the coronavirus epicenter, for the first time since the outbreak began there.

It's a sign of Chinese confidence that the tide is turning.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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China's Xi visits Wuhan as new coronavirus cases recede

It's a sign Chinese efforts to contain coronavirus are working.

President Xi Jinping visited its epicenter, Wuhan, on Tuesday (March 10), for the first time since the outbreak began.

His arrival in the city where coronavirus is understood to have taken hold late last year could suggest China is about to declare victory in the battle.

Xi visiting those who were on the frontline: health workers, soldiers, police, and volunteers.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING, SAYING: "Now what you should do is to hold a strong faith.

We should all strengthen our confidence together.

We will win this battle.

Wuhan will win, Hubei will win, the whole of China will win!" News of the visit gave a lift to Chinese stocks, with the blue-chip index climbing back into positive territory after falling as much as 1% in morning trade.

According to state media, Xi arrived as Wuhan shut the last of 14 makeshift hospitals set up to manage a surge in cases that overwhelmed the city's healthcare system.

China's initial response to the coronavirus drew criticism.

It suppressed information and downplayed risks.

But draconian efforts such as the lockdown of Wuhan and Hubei province appear to have curbed infections.

China announced it had just 19 new coronavirus cases on Monday (March 9), down from 40 the day before.

As the virus's spread in mainland China has sharply slowed.

Attention has turned to preventing further infections in overseas hotspots like Iran, Italy, and South Korea.

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