Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has reportedly warned the local officials not to hide any new coronavirus cases as the country did not report any locally transmitted infections for several days in a major turnaround in its fight against the deadly pandemic. The country's second-in-command, Li, urged the local governments on March 23 "seek truth from facts" and be "open and transparent" while dealing with the deadly outbreak. A government statement posted online on Tuesday reportedly said that being transparent and open means any new case of COVID-19 should be reported without any concealings or underreporting.
As per the reports, the Chinese premier was appointed the head of a central government task force in January to fight against the pandemic. Li's warnings appear to be a part of a concrete effort to rebuild public trust amid persistent allegations that local officials deliberately hid the reality of the situation during the early stages of the outbreak. This move comes as China faces huge international criticism over its initial efforts to prevent the virus from spreading beyond its borders after it was first identified in Wuhan in December. As per reports, the virus has claimed 3,281 lives and sickened more than 81,000 people in China. It has put many countries to go into an effective lockdown and brought the economy to a halt.
On March 23, China’s National Health Commission released a report confirming that 89 per cent of all coronavirus cases in China had recovered and had been discharged from hospitals. As per reports, of the 81,093 cases reported in the country since the beginning of the outbreak, as many as 72,000 have recovered and only little more than 5,000 remain in the hospitals.
While the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, China has been relaxing social distancing measures as the cases of virus slows there. As per reports, earlier in the week, Wuhan reported no new cases of the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began and the checkpoints around the city have been lifted by authorities.
Image Credit: AP