Wuhan hospital discharges last patient amid drop in virus cases

The city at the center of China's coronavirus epidemic has closed one of 16 hospitals built to respond to the illness after the medical facility discharged the last of its recovered patients.

The closure of the hospital in Wuhan accompanied a steep drop in the number of cases of the virus in Hubei province, Chinese officials said, Reuters reported.

“The rapid rising trend of virus cases in Wuhan has been controlled,” Mi Feng, a spokesman for China’s National Health Commission, told a briefing Monday. “Outbreaks in Hubei outside of Wuhan are curbed and provinces outside of Hubei are showing a positive trend.”

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The first cases of the virus were traced to a wildlife market in Wuhan. It has since spread to at least 53 countries, with more than 6,500 cases worldwide.

The province reported 196 new infections on Sunday, marking the first time since January that the daily number was lower than 200. The number of new confirmed cases nationwide in China on Sunday was 202, the lowest since late January.

The decline will open the door for a transition from “overall containment to targeted containment,” Mi said, according to Reuters.

Wuhan’s Communist Party chief, Chen Yixin, projected the number of cases would soon drop to less than 100 per day.

“The outbreak situation is under strong control,” he said.