After more than three months of arduous fight, Wuhan, the Chinese city once hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, cleared all COVID-19 cases in hospitals on Sunday.
This came as a 77-year-old man surnamed Ding tested negative for the second time for coronavirus in the capital city of Hubei Province.
He no longer had clinical symptoms and was able to be discharged, an official with Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said.
Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission, said at a press conference in Beijing that the outcome was earned through the hard work of medical workers in Wuhan and those sent from across the country.
By Saturday, 82,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases had been reported on the Chinese mainland. More than 93.4 percent of them had recovered.
Sunday's announcement was a new testament that the local spread of COVID-19 in the country has basically been curbed.
It was also a milestone for Wuhan. This came five days after its cases dropped to double digits and less than 70 days after daily hospitalized cases peaked at 38,020.
"It is a historic day," said Shang You, a critical care unit doctor in Wuhan. "We have been waiting for this day for so long."
The success was attributed to a series of comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures rolled out by authorities and followed through by the public to stem the outbreak.
Beginning Jan. 23, Wuhan was put under a lockdown that lasted 76 days.
Chinese leaders have repeatedly stressed putting people's lives and health first and ordered treating every patient and leaving no one unattended to.
In Wuhan, scores of hospitals were designated to treat COVID-19 patients and 16 temporary hospitals were set up, opening up 60,000 hospital beds to meet the surging demand.
Over 42,000 medical workers were sent to Hubei from across the country, as well as key medical supplies such as ventilators, protective suits, masks and daily necessities.
Since Feb. 18, the cases in Wuhan have been on the decline.
As of the end of Saturday, Wuhan had reported a total of 50,333 confirmed cases and 3,869 deaths. The recovery rate has topped 92 percent.
In Hubei, no new confirmed cases have been reported for over 20 days, and the number of remaining cases dropped below 50.
Life is returning to normal. Hubei's work resumption rate of major industrial firms has reached 98.2 percent and most of their workers have got back to work.
Schools will soon open. Students in the final year of senior high schools in Hubei are expected to return to classes on May 6.
Officials said for the next step Wuhan must keep guarding against imported cases while preventing a resurgence of the outbreak.
As of Saturday, there were still 801 COVID-19 patients being treated on the Chinese mainland, including 51 in severe condition.
"We will keep fighting until the final victory," said Zhang Jixian, the Wuhan respiratory doctor who first alerted the medical system of the novel coronavirus in late December. Enditem