China prepares to lift travel bans after five days of no new virus cases in Wuhan
Chinese authorities say they plan to ease travel restrictions in Hubei Province as soon as Wednesday.
Wuhan's residents will have to wait a bit longer before they can leave their city as it is the original epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Officials say Wuhan's travel ban will be lifted two weeks from March 24.
Variety reports that the easing of the two-month, province-wide lockdown was announced in a notice, Tuesday by Hubei Health Commission. The news follows five days without any new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus announced in Wuhan.
Among the existing cases, nine deaths were reported, Monday. Though the nation of China itself is still reporting new cases, most of these were brought into the country by people traveling there; a total of 78 new infection cases were discovered Monday and 74 of these new cases were infections imported by travelers and Chinese citizens returning home from other parts of the world.
A similar pattern of imported cases outnumbering local incidences seems to be happening in other eastern areas that were the first to be hit hardest by the virus, these include Hong Kong and Singapore.
The strict lockdown and containment measures in China appear to have resulted in a slowdown in the spread of the disease, much of the rest of the world is still at an earlier stage of contagion and seeing an acceleration of cases.
In total, China has recorded more than 81,000 cases of the novel coronavirus. The death toll has reached 3,277.