Spread of local COVID-19 epidemic in China basically blocked: official
Updated 19:30, 29-Mar-2020

The local spread of COVID-19 in China has been basically blocked and the number of confirmed cases in the country has dropped below 3,000, said Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission at a regular briefing on Sunday.

So far, a total of 693 confirmed cases imported from 42 countries have been reported, among which cases from seven countries account for 83.4 percent of the total, said Mi, adding that the possibility of a new spread caused by imported cases is still high.



Air freight capacity boosted to stabilize supply chains

Sunday's briefing also introduced China's enhancement of air freight capacity to stabilize supply chains. 

"Recently, domestic epidemic prevention and control measures have continued to improve […] the appropriate increase in all-cargo aircraft and related support policies, and measures have been introduced, and the current tension in international air cargo capacity has been alleviated to some extent," said Zhang Qing, spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Administration of China. 

"There are 930 all-cargo flights per week, which is close to the pre-epidemic level," she added. 

Premier Li Keqiang stressed on Tuesday that the development of an international logistics and delivery services system must be accelerated to uphold the smooth running of the industrial chain. 

With air passenger services dwindling worldwide due to the pandemic, the volume of cargo carried by passenger planes has plummeted and shipping costs have risen significantly. 

Read more: China slashes international flights in effort to curb coronavirus risk

In the course of the epidemic response, the weak links in our air transport capacity have been exposed. "We must facilitate both international and domestic air transport services, and keep up our international air freight capacity to avert potential shocks to the supply chains and facilitate the restart of business operation," he said.