Coronavirus Outbreak is china's biggest health emergency : Xi Jinping
By K J M Varma Beijing/Wuhan, Feb 23 President Xi Jinping on Sunday said the coronavirus epidemic is China's "largest public health emergency" as the death toll from the deadly virus climbed to 2,442 and the number of infections hit almost 77,000 in the country.
President Xi, who attended a meeting here to double efforts in coordinating the prevention and control of the COVID-19 outbreak, said the epidemic "has the fastest transmission, widest range of infection and has been the most difficult to prevent and control".
In comments reported by state broadcaster CCTV, Xi said, "This is a crisis for us and it is a big test." He called the epidemic China's "largest public health emergency".
The meeting, in the form of tele-conference, was presided over by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Xi acknowledged that the epidemic wills "inevitably have a large impact on the economy and society", but he said the effects will be "short-term" and controllable.
Chinese health officials in worst-hit coronavirus hit Wuhan city ordered 14 days' quarantine for all recovered patients following reports that some of them tested positive for the virus after recovery.
Ninety-seven more people died in China due to coronavirus, taking the death toll to 2,442, officials said on Sunday, as a team of WHO experts visited the worst-affected Wuhan city in Hubei province.
By the end of Saturday, 76,936 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions, China's National Health Commission (NHC) said in its daily update on Sunday.
Ninety-six deaths were reported from Hubei province for which Wuhan is the provincial capital and one from Guangdong province on Saturday besides 648 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, it said.
Hubei province, where the virus first emerged in December last, reported 630 new confirmed cases, taking the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 64,084, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Officials in Wuhan ordered that all patients who have recovered and discharged from hospitals be sent to designated places for two weeks of quarantine and medical observation.