China announced that Wednesday marked the first day without any cases of domestic coronavirus
For the first time since the outbreak began, China announced Thursday that there had been no new cases of domestic coronavirus in the country recorded on the previous day, according to The Washington Post.
While there were 34 people diagnosed Wednesday, the National Health Commission shared that they were cases of people coming into China from other countries.
At the outbreak’s peak in early February, China was seeing around 1,000 new cases a day. At the start of the week, Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, had announced just one new case a day. China as a whole reported 39 new cases between Monday and Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.
As of Friday afternoon, there have been a reported 80,928 cases of COVID-19 in China and 3,245 people have died.
China is slowly returning to normal life, and leaders have allowed workers in Hubei province to return to closed factories over the last week, the Associated Press reported.
However, the country has strictly limited who can enter the country and is quarantining any new arrivals. State media propaganda is claiming that they have defeated the virus, according to TIME, and a new book from China’s official press agency Xinhua claims that President Xi Jinping’s “outstanding leadership as a great power leader” is how they beat COVID-19.
China has long been the country with the most cases and deaths, but with the severe outbreak still ongoing in Italy, that country will likely soon overtake China in terms of most cases of illness and death. Italy now has 41,035 cases and 3,405 people have died.
Italy, along with Spain and France, is now under quarantine in an attempt to slow the virus’ spread. In northern Italy, which has seen the largest outbreak, all schools, bars, theaters and nightclubs are closed and all religious ceremonies, including funerals or weddings, are postponed. Residents are allowed out to pick up necessities like groceries or medicine, but are to otherwise stay inside.
The U.S. is now looking at Italy as a warning of what could happen if people do not stay inside and practice social distancing. As of Friday afternoon, there are at least 12,392 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 195 people have died. In response, public schools are closed in some form in every state, American workers who can are teleworking and many cities and states have closed bars and restaurants to reduce human contact and further spread.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.