Four Chinese provinces lower COVID-19 emergency response level

Four Chinese provinces lower COVID-19 emergency response level

China virus people wearing masks
People wear protective face masks as they arrive at a market in Beijing on Feb 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Greg Baker) 

BEIJING: Four Chinese provinces Yunnan, Guangdong, Shanxi and Guizhou on Monday (Feb 24) lowered their coronavirus emergency response measures, local health commissions said.

Yunnan and Guizhou cut their emergency response measures from level I to level III, while Guangdong and Shanxi lowered their measures to level II.

Interactive: COVID-19 cases worldwide

China has a four-tier response system for public health emergencies that determines what measures it will implement, with level I the most serious.

Gansu province was the first to lower its measures on Friday, followed by Liaoning on Saturday.

On Sunday, Chinese president Xi Jinping said that the new coronavirus epidemic was the "largest public health emergency" since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised Beijing for its handling of the epidemic, but China has been criticised at home for silencing early warnings from a whistleblower doctor who later died from the virus.

On Monday, South Korea reported the world's largest total outside China after reporting 161 more coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide total to 763. Two more people have also died from COVID-19 in the country, taking the death toll to seven. 

South Korea had earlier raised its alert to the highest level, after the number of infections nearly tripled over the weekend.

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Source: Reuters/ic

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