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China reports no new coronavirus cases for second day in a row

China reports no new coronavirus cases for second day in a row
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China’s National Health Commission reported no new local cases of coronavirus Friday for the second day in a row, the first time for the country since the outbreak began last year. 

Health officials confirmed 39 new cases of the virus on the mainland Thursday. However, all of those were “new imported confirmed cases,” according to NBC News. Three additional people died Thursday from the virus, with 3,248 dying from the pandemic in total in the country.

There have been nearly 81,000 confirmed cases of the virus in mainland China. Italy surpassed China in total deaths from the virus this week, reporting 3,405 total fatalities Thursday afternoon.

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The Friday figure represents a milestone in the fight against the spread of the virus that has infected over 244,000 people around the world. In the early stages of the outbreak in China, which began in Wuhan late last year, thousands of new cases were confirmed every day by health officials. Travel was suspended to and from the Hubei Provence, where Wuhan is located, and officials restricted people from leaving their homes as part of their efforts to reduce the transmission of the virus.

“Today, we have seen the dawn after so many days of hard effort,” Jiao Yahui, a senior inspector at the National Health Commission, said Thursday after the first day of reporting no new cases of the virus, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. has confirmed over 12,000 cases of the virus across the country, and nearly 200 patients with the virus have died.