China has passed the peak of the coronavirus epidemic, the National Health Commission said on Thursday.
The comments were made by commission spokesperson Mi Feng at a news conference.
This comes a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) characterised the new coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was alarmed by the spread and severity of the outbreak, along with a lack of action taken to combat it.
“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic,” he told a news conference in Geneva, adding that he expected the number of cases and deaths to grow in the coming days and weeks.
“We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus,” he said.
India, meanwhile, on Wednesday announced it would suspend most tourist visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus. The suspension will come into effect from 12pm GMT (5.30pm IST) on March 13 at the port of departure.