COVID-19 crisis in China: Is it subsiding?

Chinese leader Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 visited the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University in Beijing today, as reported by Xinhua (in English; in Chinese). Judging from the remarks he made, Xi is shifting focus away from crisis management and towards longer-term considerations, like scientific research into vaccines, and other “core technologies with own intellectual property rights.”

While the global severity of COVID-19 continues to increase, and the total death toll has surpassed 3,000, the official number of new cases in China has slowed to a trickle outside of Hubei Province.

Zhejiang Province “downgraded its alert status” today, after becoming one of the first regions to declare an emergency over the outbreak weeks ago, SCMP reports. Official numbers show “no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the province for nine days.”

Preventing contagion between countries is now a focus of Beijing, SCMP reports. “China will step up monitoring of the health of travellers entering and leaving the country in a change of strategy to stop the international spread of the coronavirus as the number of cases in other countries surges, the central government said on Sunday.”

“Tokyo and Beijing have agreed to delay Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan as the two countries tackle outbreaks of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” according to the Japan Times. The visit had originally been planned for early April, and a new date has not been chosen yet.

The surveillance state expansion continues: An Alibaba-made app is now being widely used to automatically sort citizens into categories, some of which bar them from passing through transportation checkpoints, per the New York Times.