Beijing to shut coronavirus special hospital, clears all cases

Authorities in Beijing are set to close a COVID-19 special hospital after clearing all the cases even as China reported six new coronavirus infections and 40 fresh asymptomatic cases, health officials said on Tuesday.

The move to shut down the hospital comes after China’s coronavirus epicentre Wuhan recently closed 16 temporary hospitals and discharged its last patient on Sunday.

Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing, which was used in 2003 to quarantine SARS patients, cleared all COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and is scheduled to cease operation on Wednesday, official media reported.

The temporary hospital, located in the city’s northern suburb, was renovated and put into operation on March 16 for the screening and treatment of imported mild and common confirmed COVID-19 cases, suspected cases and those who need to be tested.

It was built to treat SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) patients in 2003. At that time, the hospital was built in about a week.

In all, Beijing had 593 coronavirus cases and nine deaths. According to officials, 536 patients have recovered after treatment.

Meanwhile, the country’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Tuesday that six new confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which three were imported, reported on Monday.

The other three new cases were domestically-transmitted in Heilongjiang province, the NHC said in its daily report.

The death toll in China from the coronavirus stands at 4,633.

As of Monday, the overall confirmed cases in China reached 82,836, including 648 patients who were still being treated and 77,555 people discharged from hospitals.

China’s imported cases increase 1,639, of which 552 were being treated with 21 in severe conditions.

Also on Monday, 40 new asymptomatic cases, including three from abroad, were reported in China.

So far 997 asymptomatic cases, including 130 from abroad, were still under medical observation, the NHC said.

Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, had 599 asymptomatic cases under medical observation by Monday.

Asymptomatic cases refer to people who test positive for the coronavirus but develop no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. They are infectious and pose a risk of spreading to others.

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