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Xi Jinping visits Wuhan, in major show of confidence as China turns corner on coronavirus

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made his first visit to Wuhan since the novel coronavirus outbreak began more than two months ago, as new cases of the virus slow to a trickle. CNN's David Culver reports.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 11:00 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 11:00 PM

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made his first visit to Wuhan since the novel coronavirus outbreak began more than two months ago, as new cases of the virus slowed to a trickle in the country where the disease first emerged.

Xi's visit to Wuhan -- which has been on lockdown for weeks now, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases of the virus and hundreds of deaths -- is a major show of confidence in China's response to the pandemic, underlining a message which has been building in state media that the country has turned a corner.

As of Tuesday, there have been 80,754 cases of the virus confirmed across China, 67,760 of which were in Hubei, the province of which Wuhan is the capital. Of the 3,136 deaths confirmed in China, all but 112 have been in Hubei.

At its worst, Hubei was reporting thousands of new cases per day. On Monday, China's National Health Commission said there were only 17 new cases confirmed in the province, with two others in other parts of the country -- both of which were linked to overseas travel.

The progress in China, which has come on the back of weeks of widespread travel restrictions, government enforced lockdowns and economic pain, is in stark contrast to other parts of the world, where the situation is growing increasingly dire.

Propaganda victory

According to state news agency Xinhua, Xi arrived in Wuhan Tuesday "for an inspection of the epidemic prevention and control work" in the city and surrounding province.

He "will visit and express regards to medical workers, military officers and soldiers, community workers, police officers, officials and volunteers who have been fighting the epidemic on the front line, as well as patients and residents during the inspection," Xinhua reported.

That Xi can visit the city suggests the government has supreme confidence in his safety and epidemic controls put in place there. The closest he previously came to the frontlines of the outbreak was visiting virus treatment centers in the capital Beijing, which has far fewer cases than Wuhan.

Senior government officials, including Vice Premier Sun Chunlan and Premier Li Keqiang, have visited Wuhan, but it was assumed until now that the risk to Xi, even if slight, was not worth the potential cost. Since taking office in 2011, Xi has centralized authority massively, becoming China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, and were the 66-year-old to fall ill, that could seriously destabilize the political system.

His presence in Wuhan also caps a major reversal in how he has been positioned in Chinese state media. In the early weeks of the virus, Xi disappeared from front pages and major newscasts -- which he typically dominates -- though reports emphasized he was working in the background to direct the country's response.

Xi's low profile led to speculation that the propaganda apparatus was trying to ensure that he did not take any blame for the apparent bungling and alleged covering up of the initial response to the virus. Xi has increasingly come to the fore in recent weeks, however, as China has appeared to successfully brought the outbreak under control.

If that assessment is accurate, then Xi is now ready to reap the praise for having contained the virus. A book published late last month by the Central Propaganda Department -- in six different languages -- recounts how China won the "people's war" against the disease, "under the centralized and unified leadership of the Communist Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1130719

Reported Deaths: 17736
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1468762242
Lake732391255
Allen68004883
Hamilton51739488
St. Joseph50459650
Elkhart40619547
Vanderburgh34963497
Tippecanoe31212276
Johnson27963467
Hendricks26585385
Porter25969387
Madison21318457
Clark20392279
Vigo19244309
LaPorte17405261
Delaware17004303
Howard16942315
Monroe16794220
Kosciusko14447167
Hancock13259186
Bartholomew13180191
Warrick12320190
Wayne12200269
Grant12181247
Floyd12096226
Morgan10552192
Boone9966124
Noble9429123
Marshall9295147
Henry9268169
Dearborn9053100
Dubois8877140
Shelby8402130
Cass8241128
Lawrence8134185
DeKalb7933109
Jackson779993
Huntington7761116
Montgomery7213123
Gibson7179118
Harrison7031100
Knox6958116
Steuben676589
Miami6675114
Whitley667260
Putnam651286
Clinton633179
Wabash6323111
Jasper622192
Jefferson5946105
Ripley565994
Adams547981
Daviess5124118
Scott498980
Wells4894106
White486069
Greene4749101
Clay468662
Decatur4659110
Fayette462597
Jennings457167
LaGrange432291
Posey412944
Randolph4010107
Washington393656
Fountain382264
Fulton368374
Spencer365147
Starke361474
Owen358577
Sullivan351155
Jay336450
Orange335272
Rush314833
Carroll301639
Franklin295244
Perry292853
Vermillion285958
Tipton253367
Parke251630
Pike251244
Blackford224944
Pulaski213759
Newton185052
Brown179750
Benton171717
Crawford170729
Martin152619
Switzerland149412
Warren137816
Union125116
Ohio92913
Unassigned0599

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1735925

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1807941843
Cuyahoga1705042655
Hamilton1146441544
Montgomery811601405
Summit728891210
Lucas637861027
Butler57319814
Stark544971183
Lorain42941645
Warren36238417
Mahoning36168788
Lake32818501
Clermont31601369
Trumbull27766620
Delaware27462185
Licking26929344
Medina26408353
Fairfield24875287
Greene24585373
Clark22391390
Portage21591283
Richland21339342
Wood20348248
Allen19172326
Miami17486352
Columbiana17078335
Muskingum16882207
Wayne15914307
Tuscarawas14631362
Marion13477196
Ashtabula12980237
Erie12832199
Scioto12586188
Pickaway12326155
Ross11824226
Hancock11659175
Geauga11090179
Lawrence10729172
Belmont10548234
Huron9891159
Jefferson9724228
Union966575
Sandusky9465166
Seneca9020161
Knox8893176
Washington8738159
Darke8446181
Athens842897
Ashland8130152
Auglaize8042120
Shelby7575135
Defiance7431117
Crawford7376150
Fulton7284113
Brown7225116
Logan7087111
Guernsey701786
Mercer6964100
Highland6822120
Clinton6554106
Williams655299
Madison653990
Preble6343140
Putnam6300122
Jackson586597
Champaign586187
Perry571279
Coshocton5700108
Ottawa5696102
Morrow524665
Fayette499072
Hardin4960100
Gallia475878
Van Wert470895
Pike468478
Adams4638110
Henry440380
Hocking414293
Holmes4044141
Wyandot379975
Carroll373678
Paulding327551
Meigs307961
Monroe237261
Noble221949
Morgan219439
Harrison216953
Vinton189738
Unassigned06
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