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President Xi visits Wuhan as coronavirus outbreak slows in China


Chinese President Xi Jinping has made his first visit to Wuhan since the outbreak of the coronavirus in what may well be seen as a proof from the govt that the health crisis is coming in restraint.

Xi, who has been largely unseen throughout the epidemic, made his entry on Tuesday within the region that had been under lockdown for weeks.
State news organization Xinhua said the president wanted to "visit and express regards to" those stricken by the infection, including medical workers and patients.

National television broadcaster CCTV said Xi began his visit at Huoshenshan hospital, one among the makeshift medical facilities treating patients in severe and significant conditions.

Images published in state-owned media outlets showed Xi greeting the healthcare workers and meeting with health officials, in addition as waving to a coronavirus patient through video conferencing.

More than 80,000 people are infected within the country. quite 3,100 have died.

Xi's visit came at a time when reported cases of coronavirus infection, referred to as COVID-19, are steadily declining in China.

In recent days, only some dozen confirmed cases were reported, compared with thousands during the height of the epidemic.

Many provinces in China have also reported zero new cases for variety of days.

Additionally, the govt also ordered the closing down of the makeshift hospitals in Wuhan thanks to the decline within the number of reported cases.

According to reports, but 20,000 of the confirmed cases are still under treatment, with almost 60,000 having reportedly recovered.

'Political show'
Throughout the outbreak in China, President Xi made only a few public appearances.

For people in Wuhan, who are under quarantine measures, his visit did little to appease residents who have become more resentful of the government's response.

"When all folks were asking where Xi Jinping was within the initial days of the outbreak, he made zero appearance," a Wuhan resident, who asked to stay anonymous for fear of repercussions, told Al Jazeera.

"After the height of the epidemic had passed and therefore the outbreak is in restraint, he came and told people 'remember me, i've got indeed come to go to you'. this sort of political show is disgusting."

Xi had placed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the line of the so-called "people's war against the epidemic". Li was the highest-ranking member of China's ruling political party to play a prominent role, appearing in Wuhan and leading a taskforce in Beijing.

"I don't really care if Xi Jinping is visiting or not," another Wuhan resident told Al Jazeera.

"All i actually care about is that if matters is truly in restraint rather than just another show. I also care about when the lockdown will end. We have gotten insane here." in line with another resident.

Some residents, however, were more optimistic following the president's visit.

"My parents are really excited because they think this can be an indication of Xi Jinping being confident within the situation being in restraint in Wuhan," a 3rd Wuhan resident said.

"But, at the tip of the day, it's still those medical workers and volunteers that actually helped the town start up the road to travel back to normalcy."

Xi's absence sparked widespread discussion on the party chief's role in handling the emergency.

Analysts have suggested that Xi's absence is an element of his strategy to avoid blame should the outbreak grow out of control.

"Xi dropping by the wayside of the media spotlight during this outbreak suggests a technique by the central government to put major blame on the local cadres," said George Crane, a Chinese politics expert at Williams College within the US.

Tumbling markets
Xi's visit to Wuhan came after a very tumultuous day for global financial markets.

The world's second-largest economy was severely stricken by the outbreak, sending shockwaves worldwide. On Monday, stock indexes within the US witnessed the steepest single-day fall since the 2008 financial crisis.

"Xi Jinping's visit certainly signals a point of confidence, which comes as investors round the world need a lift in their confidence," Victor Shih, an professor who studies Chinese economy and politics at the University of California, told Al Jazeera.

Many small businesses in China are running out of money and now face the chance of dissolving, while workers are unable to return to figure and students had to resort to online education.

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