China Claims Wuhan ‘Basically Blocked’ Coronavirus, Reported Last Case On March 18

The Chinese government is reporting that the city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus began is no longer an area of “high risk” for the transmission of the coronavirus and hasn’t seen any new cases since March 18.

The report comes as the country plans to close its borders to foreigners beginning Saturday, March 28 after limiting inbound and outbound international flights on Thursday.

“The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly.”

The city of Wuhan first shut down on January, 23. That date, however, was too late in stopping the spread of the virus as millions of people fled shortly before the quarantine was ordered. According to the city’s mayor, it was nearly 5 million people.

Many of the millions who left travelled abroad for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began and claimed that the virus “has basically been curbed” in the city. He reportedly visited hospitals and quarantined citizens.

The city is located in Hubei province, which claims to have had no cases for 22 consecutive days outside of Wuhan.