China′s coronavirus cases curbed

President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan last week for the first time since the start of the coronavirus crisis, and declared that the deadly epidemic had been “basically curbed” in the city where it began, and in the surrounding province of Hubei. On the day of his visit, Tuesday, China recorded just 19 new infections, the lowest number since the start of the outbreak. They took the total confirmed cases in China to 80,754, of which 3,136 have been fatal. State media reported that Xi’s visit to Wuhan, which has been under strict lockdown for weeks, sent a “strong signal to the entire country and the world that China is ascending out of the darkest moment amid the outbreak”. The government also confirmed that all 14 temporary hospitals set up across China to contain the crisis had now been closed. Separately, relatives of a high-profile dissident, Xu Zhiyong, who’d criticised Xi over his handling of the coronovirus epidemic, confirmed that he had been arrested and was being held on charges of subversion. Xu was seized by police on 15 February. His girlfriend, Li Qiaochu, is also being held at an unknown location.