Around 922 patients who recovered from the deadly COVID-19 were released from hospitals in China on March 17, a Chinese news agency reported citing the National Health Commission. In its daily reports, the commission also revealed that as of March 17, 69,601 patients have been discharged from hospitals following recovery. Meanwhile, the virus has infected over 80,894 and killed nearly 3,237 people across the nation.
Chinese health authorities reported 13 new cases of coronavirus infection and 11 deaths on the Chinese mainland on March 17, a Chinese news agency reported. All deaths were reported in Hubei Province, National Health Commission reportedly said. This comes as 21 new suspected cases were reported on the same day.
China on March 16 announced plans for an orderly withdrawal of thousands of medical staff deployed in the worst-hit Wuhan city as a top medical expert said the coronavirus outbreak has "almost seen its end" in the country but a final judgment would be made after a month.
A leading Chinese official group, headed by Premier Li Keqiang, suggested orderly withdrawal of the medical staff supporting virus-hit Hubei province for which Wuhan is the capital, where the virus first emerged in December last year. China deployed over 30,000 medical personnel, including staff from the military, and built 14 makeshift hospitals at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in January. The makeshift hospitals have been dismantled.
The leading group asked officials to ensure high-level treatment of severe COVID-19 patients in Wuhan while withdrawing the supporting medical teams, state-run China Daily reported. Timely and full payment of subsidies should be guaranteed for frontline personnel in epidemic prevention and control, including medical staff, community workers, police, and volunteers, the leading group said.
Meanwhile, Cao Wei, Deputy Director and Associate Chief Physician of the Department of infectious diseases of Peking Union Medical College Hospital said the deadly coronavirus which brought China to a grinding halt for about three months has "almost seen its end". "Currently, after three months of fight, the (virus) outbreak in China, which started in last December has almost seen its end," said Cao.