China on Thursday claimed that the peak of the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak is over in the country, hours after the WHO declared the epidemic as a pandemic, as per reports. The overall epidemic situation has been remaining at a lower level in recent times in China, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission stated, as reported by Xinhua news agency.

The spokesperson mentioned that the number of new cases reported from the epicentre of the outbreak Wuhan, which is the capital city of Hubei province, have come down to single-digit, with only eight cases on Wednesday. No new cases were recorded in other cities of Hubei for a week in a row, Mi further added.

7 new cases were reported on the Chinese mainland outside Hubei

Wuhan Coronavirus
Twitter / Imran Iftikhar

Only seven new cases were reported on the Chinese mainland outside Hubei, but six were imported from overseas, he added. Mi said the top priority should be given to treating patients and vowed no relaxation or loose efforts in the epidemic prevention and control work.

This developed as the WHO announced that the COVID-19 outbreak can be characterized as a "pandemic" as the virus spreads increasingly worldwide. There are now more than 118,000 confirmed cases in 114 countries and regions, and 4,291 people have lost their lives, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday, noting that the number of coronavirus cases, deaths and affected countries was expected to climb even higher in the days and weeks ahead.

WHO described COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic

The WHO's characterization of the COVID-19 outbreak as a "pandemic" was to call on its members once again to make further political commitment and put in more resources to turn things around in the battle against the disease, Mi said. "China is paying close attention to the current rapid global spread of the epidemic, and can empathize with other countries in terms of the pressure in prevention and control," Mi said.

As of Thursday, the overall coronavirus death toll in China, the epicentre of the outbreak, was 3,169, with a total of 80,793 cases. Globally, there were 123,825 confirmed cases, with 4,620 fatalities.

(With agency inputs)