China reports no new domestic virus cases for first time, but 34 imported

Publish: 8:07 PM, March 19, 2020 | Update: 8:07:PM, March 19, 2020

BEIJING,  – China on Thursday reported no new domestic cases of the coronavirus for the first time since it started recording them in January, but recorded a spike in infections from abroad.

The lack of domestic infections marks a major milestone in China’s containment efforts, but the rise in imported cases threatens to unravel its progress.

There were 34 cases that were brought in from abroad, the biggest daily increase in two weeks, with 189 in total now, according to the National Health Commission.

But the figures showed that the outbreak is under control in Wuhan, the central city where the virus first emerged in December, and the surrounding Hubei province.

There were eight more deaths — all in Hubei — raising the nationwide total to 3,245, according to the commission.

There have been nearly 81,000 infections in China but only 7,263 people remain sick with the COVID-19 disease.