China lowers Covid risk for country as President Xi warns against complacency

President Xi Jinping has warned against complacency in the ongoing fight to curb the coronavirus outbreak in the country even as China on Thursday classified all its counties as “low-risk” for the Covid-19 disease.

The decision to lower the risk level was taken as no domestic cases were reported in the Chinese mainland for four consecutive days as of Wednesday, and no new deaths for 22 consecutive days, national health commission (NHC) spokesperson, Mi Feng said on Thursday.

The Chinese mainland reported two new imported Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of imported cases to 1,680, Mi added.

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China now has a total of 82885 confirmed cases of the disease and 4633 deaths from it.

Xi, however, warned officials from “relaxing” in their fight against it despite the dramatic fall in numbers at a meeting of the Communist Party of China’s Standing Committee, the top decision-making body in the country, on Wednesday.

“Xi stressed that authorities can afford zero complacency in their work on all fronts to consolidate the outcomes of epidemic containment, and must not undo all the efforts that have been made,” state media quoted him as saying at the meeting.

Xi said the spread of the “…virus overseas has not been effectively curbed yet and cluster cases were reported in a few areas in China, posing considerable uncertainty to the epidemic control”.

The epidemic prevention and control measures in Hubei, the Chinese province worst-hit by the coronavirus, should not be relaxed, Xi said.

Meanwhile, China’s diplomatic spat with the US continued on Thursday with the Chinese foreign ministry accusing US secretary of state Mike Pompeo of telling one lie to cover up another in his continued attacks against Beijing over the pandemic.

Speaking at the regular ministry briefing on Thursday, spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing has been transparent about the Covid-19 outbreak that emerged in Hubei province’s capital Wuhan late last year and that the US politicians were making baseless accusations against China

Washington has accused Beijing of covering up the outbreak and mishandling it.

Hua added that China supported the efforts of the WHO to investigate the origin of the pandemic.

“We are always open to cooperate with the WHO on matters, including on the question of origin,” she said.

“While scientists have not come to a conclusion, why is Secretary Pompeo drawing the hasty conclusion that the virus came from a Wuhan lab? Where is his proof? Show us the proof. If he cannot show any evidence, then he may still be in the process of making up this evidence,” she said.

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