China reports no new COVID-19 cases for the first time as numbers in South America and Africa rise

China reports no new COVID-19 cases for the first time as numbers in South America and Africa rise
Source: Reuters

On Saturday, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) announced that there were only two suspected COVID-19 cases in mainland China: in Shanghai and the northeastern Jilian province.

Source: Thoughtco

This is compared to the four confirmed cases from the previous day, and marks the first day mainland China has recorded no new cases since the pandemic started late last year.

The NHC also added that new asymptomatic cases fell to 28 from 35 a day earlier.

As of May 24, the official number of cases on the mainland remains at 82,971 and the death toll unchanged at 4,634.

In neighboring Hong Kong, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced that it was investigating an additional 10 new cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases on the island to 1,066.

This increase comes after the island recorded no new cases for 23 consecutive days, highlighting the difficulty in eliminating a community outbreak.

However, as China and Hong Kong’s case numbers dwindle, coronavirus reports in other parts of the world have surged.

A statement made by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 22 read, “The COVID-19 pandemic today reached a milestone in Africa, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases. The virus has now spread to every country in the continent since the first case was confirmed in the region 14 weeks ago.”

About half of Africa are experiencing community transmission of the virus, the WHO added.

The continent of 1.2 billion has recorded 104,279 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 3,185 deaths and 41,717 known recoveries.

Meanwhile in South America, Brazil remains the worst-affected Latin American nation with nearly 350,000 confirmed cases and over 22,000 deaths.

“In a sense South America has become a new epicenter for the disease,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert.

This week, Brazilian authorities encouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine as treatment of COVID-19. In response to this move, Ryan clarified that so far, no clinical evidence supports widespread use of the anti-malarial against the disease.

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