The virus has killed 3,245 people in China so far, making up over a third of the global toll, but in recent weeks the country has been making strides in controlling the spread. Now, Beijing is mounting a humanitarian aid blitz in countries struggling with their own outbreaks.
The New York Times: China Hits A Coronavirus Milestone: No New Local Infections
China on Thursday reported no new local infections for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began three months ago, reaching a milestone in its battle with the deadly outbreak that has upended daily life and economic activity around the world. As governments in Italy, the United States and elsewhere grapple with the pandemic, China has hailed its success as evidence of what can be achieved when a vast, top-down bureaucracy that brooks no dissent is mobilized in pursuit of a single target. (Hernandez, 3/18)
The Associated Press: Wuhan Reports No New Virus Cases, Offering Hope To World
The news offered a rare glimmer of hope for the rest of the world as it battles the virus, and perhaps a lesson in the strict measures needed to halt its spread. It came as President Donald Trump likened the fight to “a war” and invoked emergency powers that allow him to compel manufacturers to deal with the pandemic. Wuhan was where the outbreak first took hold and thousands once lay sick or dying in hurriedly constructed hospitals. But Chinese authorities said Thursday that all 34 new cases recorded over the previous day had been imported from abroad. (Moritsugu and Perry, 3/19)
The New York Times: Its Coronavirus Cases Dwindling, China Turns Focus Outward
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, pledged to send more medical experts to Italy this week, on the same day Beijing sent 2,000 rapid diagnostic tests to the Philippines. Serbia’s president pleaded for assistance not from the country’s neighbors in Europe, which restricted the export of needed medical equipment, but from China. “European solidarity does not exist,” the Serbian leader, Aleksandar Vucic, said when he announced a state of emergency in televised remarks. “That was a fairy tale on paper. I believe in my brother and friend Xi Jinping, and I believe in Chinese help.” (Myers and Rubin, 3/18)
The Washington Post: How U.S. Can Defeat Coronavirus: Heed Asia’s Lessons From Epidemics Past
When authorities in Wuhan announced on Dec. 31 that they had detected a cluster of viral pneumonia in the Chinese city, with 27 cases linked to a seafood market, they said the disease was preventable and controllable, with “no obvious signs of human-to-human transmission.” But in wealthy places on China’s periphery — Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea — a rapid response swung into action. (Mahtani and Denyer, 3/18)
The New York Times: I.O.C.’s Reassurance About The Tokyo Olympics Rankles Some Athletes
The I.O.C., which has insisted the Games will be held as scheduled beginning in late July in Tokyo, provided the guidance during a two-hour conference call Wednesday morning with 200 athlete representatives from around the world and half a dozen I.O.C. officials, including Thomas Bach, the president. Rather than reassuring the athletes, the call left a number of them flummoxed. (Keh and Panja, 3/18)
The Associated Press: Olympic Leaders Back IOC’s Tokyo Stance After Rare Criticism
Regional Olympic officials are rallying around the IOC and have backed its stance on opening the Tokyo Games as scheduled, as direct criticism from gold medalist athletes built amid the coronavirus outbreak. Leaders of continental Olympic groups praised the IOC after a conference call Wednesday to update them on coronavirus issues four months before the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 24. (Dunbar, 3/18)
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