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China marks month without any confirmed deaths

/ 04:46 PM May 15, 2020
China virus

A medical worker collects swab samples from a resident for the coronavirus test during home visits in Wuhan the epicenter of China’s coronavirus outbreak in central China’s Hubei province, Thursday, May 14, 2020. Some residential compounds in Wuhan have begun testing inhabitants for the coronavirus as a program to test everyone in the Chinese city of 11 million people in 10 days got underway. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING— China has gone a month without announcing any new deaths from the coronavirus and has fewer than 100 patients in treatment for COVID-19.

The National Health Commission reported four new cases of the virus Friday, all local cross-infections in the northeastern province of Jilin where a cluster of uncertain origin has been detected in recent days. The last day the commission reported a death was on April 14.

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Just 91 people remain in treatment for COVID-19 and 623 others are in isolation for being suspected cases or for having tested positive without showing symptoms, including 11 newly detected.

In total, China has reported 4,633 deaths among 82,933 cases since the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan.

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Some residential compounds are testing inhabitants for the virus as Wuhan attempts to test all its 11 million people in 10 days. The city ordered local communities to test everyone after six new cases surfaced last weekend, the first infections there in more than a month.

China has maintained social distancing and bans on foreigners entering the country, but has increasingly opened up the world’s second-largest economy to allow both large factories and small businesses to resume production and dealings with customers.

The government plans to hold the ceremonial parliament’s annual session later this month, but with highly limited access for journalists and others. The meeting of the National People’s Congress is expected to be shorter than normal but will still aim to set economic and social targets for the coming year, including announcing budget figures for leading institutions such as the People’s Liberation Army.

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