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Feb 24, 2020

Live updates: China delays political meetings as Xi warns of coronavirus crisis; Wuhan backtracks on easing travel curbs

Adam Taylor


In a speech to party officials a day earlier, President Xi Jinping warned that the outbreak was a “crisis” that would inevitably jolt the country’s economic development, but pledged that the disruption would be temporary and manageable.
Meanwhile, China abruptly backtracked on an earlier announcement that it would relax travel restrictions on the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan, amplifying concerns about the government response to the outbreak.
Here are some other key developments:
● Official figures released Monday showed there had been 409 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 150 new deaths from the outbreak in China by the end of Sunday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 77,150 with a cumulative death toll of 2,592. The majority of the new cases — 398 — were in Hubei province, as were all but one death.
● Wuhan’s epidemic prevention and control headquarters announced Monday that it would ease some restrictions on movement in the coronavirus-stricken city, but a subsequent announcement reversed the decision.
●● Six Chinese provinces lowered their emergency ratings with businesses reopening and workers leaving quarantine.
● Xi spoke Sunday and gave some of his starkest public warnings about the virus, telling party members that the outbreak was both a crisis and a test for Beijing.
● The outbreak widened in other countries, with South Korea announcing Monday that it now had 833 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, seven of which had resulted in deaths.

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