(NEW YORK) — A global pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed at least 12,911 people in the United States.
The United States is among the worst affected countries, with nearly 400,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Worldwide, more than 1.4 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and over 82,000 of them have died since the virus emerged in China in December. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
Italy has, by far, the world’s highest death toll — over 17,100.
Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times EasternL
3 a.m.: China lifts lockdown in city where pandemic began
Chinese authorities have lifted a months-long lockdown on Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus pandemic began.
The very first cases of the novel coronavirus were detected in Wuhan back in December. The city of 11 million people went on lockdown on Jan. 23 in an effort to control the spread of the virus, the first in the world to do so.
The bulk of the Chinese mainland’s nearly 82,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 3,300 deaths have been reported in Wuhan, the capital of central Hubei province. However, the strict travel restrictions in the city have been gradually eased in recent weeks as the number of new infections continuously declined.
The final restrictions on outbound travel were lifted Wednesday. Thousands of people streamed out of the city via car, train and plane.
China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported no new cases in Wuhan nor the greater Hubei province, though questions have been raised over the accuracy of China’s figures.
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