Coronavirus: China expert lambasts Italy’s ‘lax’ response to pandemic

In Milan, visiting senior Chinese Red Cross official says he does not know what people are thinking as lockdown measures largely ignored -As pandemic escalates around the world, mainland records lowest number of new deaths since January 21, two days before lockdown

By Teddy Ng

Mainland China on Thursday reported no new domestic

coronavirus infections for a second day running, and its lowest number of deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, in two months.

The National Health Commission said that all of the 39 new cases reported on Thursday were imported. Three fatalities were also reported on the day – the lowest daily tally since January 21, which was two days before Beijing announced unprecedented measures to lock down Wuhan, the city in which the outbreak was first reported.

Since the start of the outbreak, mainland China has reported 80,967 infections and 3,248 deaths. As of Friday there were also 31 suspected cases, though none were in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

Among the imported cases reported this week were several members of the Chinese fencing team, who returned home on Monday after competing in Hungary, its governing body said.

Of the 39 cases reported on Thursday, 14 were in Guangdong province, eight in Shanghai, six in Beijing, three in Fujian province, and one each in seven other provinces and the city of Tianjin. The new additions took the total number of imported cases in China to 228.

While the lack of new domestic cases appears promising, some health experts have questioned the accuracy and value of China’s numbers.

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People with only mild symptoms do not count as confirmed cases under Beijing’s rules, but they can still spread the virus, the experts said.

Critics have also argued that China is playing the figures to make itself out to be a global leader in the fight against Covid-19.