China announced this Thursday the first death from covid in eight months, shortly before the arrival of the team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) in charge of studying the origin of the coronavirus.
The WHO team, made up of 10 scientists of different nationalities, arrived today in Wuhan (center), where the virus emerged at the end of 2019, on a flight from Singapore.
China, where covid-19 was first detected a year ago, had managed to eradicate the pandemic since last spring, thanks to strong movement control measures, the widespread use of the mask and the confinements and tracking applications of mobile phones.
But in the last days several outbreaks have reappeared in the country, although it is still very far from the cases that are registered in other parts of the world.
Most of the new cases are registered in Hebei, a huge province that surrounds the capital Beijing, with 81 cases. According to the health authorities, the deceased person was precisely in this province.
The last death in China from covid-19, before this Thursday, dated from last May. According to the official balance, 4,635 people have died in the country from covid-19, which has already caused almost two million deaths in the world.
The news spread like wildfire on social media and already exceeds 100 million comments on Weibo, the equivalent of Twitter in China.
“It is shocking, it has been a long time since I have seen the words ‘virus dead'” in China, an Internet user was alarmed who quickly wishes the end of the epidemic.
This new death in China occurs after the appearance of several outbreaks that have led the authorities to act forcefully.
Heilongjiang, a neighboring province of Russia, declared a “state of emergency” on Wednesday. Its 37.5 million inhabitants cannot leave the province except in cases of urgency and the planned congregations were canceled.
On the other hand, one of the cities in the province, Suihua, where more than five million inhabitants live, was quarantined on Monday. The inhabitants must remain in their houses and public transport has been suspended.
The increase in cases worries the government with the arrival of the Chinese New Year, which this year falls on February 12, and which generates millions of displacements of migrant workers who return with their families.
However, China is unlikely to see a “large-scale spread” of the coronavirus, Feng Zijian, deputy director of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Wednesday.