China has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 in the virus epicentre Wuhan or in the surrounding Hubei provice, officials said.
The central Chinese city, the epicentre of the country's coronavirus outbreak, reported no new infections for the first time.
However imported cases surged by a record, led by new infections in the capital of Beijing.
The new imported infections also accounted for all of the new confirmed cases in mainland China, placing more pressure on authorities to screen travellers at key travel hubs.
Mainland China had 34 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, the country's National Health Commission said, more than doubling from 13 cases a day earlier.
Of the 34 imported infections, Beijing accounted for 21 cases, a daily record for the city.
That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,928, the health authority said in a statement on Thursday.
The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 3,245 as of the end of Wednesday, up by eight from the previous day.
In the central province of Hubei, there were eight new deaths, with the provincial capital of Wuhan accounting for six of the fatalities.
China, the world’s second-biggest economy, has been reeling from the economic punches of the unprecedented viral outbreak.
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The lockdown that the Chinese government put in place to contain the novel coronavirus has taken a huge toll on the country’s economy.
but Katie Hayes, a kindergarten teacher from Cork who has spent the last seven weeks on lockdown with her mother and sister in Harbin, China, says the steps the country has taken 'work'.
Katie, 27, who's been living in China for the past four years, told Cork's Red FM's Neil Prendeville on Wednesday that China is starting to come out of the coronavirus crisis and encouraged people to have faith in the lockdown system, claiming "it does work".
"It's been a long, long, looong seven weeks," Katie said.
"But it's getting a lot better. Today is the first day that malls, shops and restaurants have opened again. We can go out of the complex now everyday, there's no monitoring of our movements.
"Secondary schools and universities will probably open around the third week of March, but kindergartens won't be open until maybe the middle of April.
"Nationally, the numbers are reducing, but in the last week, there have been foreigners coming into Beijing and Shanghai and they have brought back the virus with them.
"I read online that from tonight onwards anyone coming in from any country to China has to be self-quarantined for 14 days. Before, it was only for affected countries like Italy, Japan, Korea but now it's for anywhere outside China."
So just how did China manage to turn themselves from the epicentre of the coronavirus, with several thousand new cases per day at its worst, to near total eradication? According to Katie, the answer is simple: Lockdown.
"Ireland needs to shut the country down, otherwise it's going to spread faster," Katie advised.
"Harbin had 198 cases but for the last two-three weeks we haven't had any new cases so lockdown does work, it is working and it has worked. There's proof of it here in China."
In China, all citizens are required to use an app that tracks their location at all times. Now, before entering a store, a mall or any business, citizens scan their phone on a QR code located at the entrance, that checks if they have been out of the country over the past 14 days and gives them a green or red tick for entry.
"People need to realise that if you put the country on lockdown it's actually ok. It's not going to do damage. To keep the elderly and vulnerable people safe, going on lockdown is the best thing you can do."
"I know it affects the economy and people will lose money, but is it not better to keep our people safe?"
The debate as to whether face masks do more harm than good has been continuing since this epidemic emerged. The HSE have repeatedly advised that face masks are not necessary for people who are healthy.
In contrast, Chinese people have been known to wear masks for even the earliest of cold symptoms, ever since the SARS epidemic swept through the nation in the early 2000s.
"All my Chinese friends have been asking me 'why are people abroad not wearing masks?'. I'm reading online that supposedly they don't work and you can still get sick if you wear a mask.
"In China, we have to, legally, wear masks. If we're seen walking around the place not wearing any masks, we can get arrested and put in 14-day quarantine or jail.
"But in Italy, France, Ireland, Spain, nobody is wearing masks. I don't get it. Even though it doesn't stop you from inhaling the virus, wearing a mask stops you from touching your mouth and face.
Katie was also clear to point out that while her country is right to be commended for stopping the spread of the virus so quickly, the world should not forget that the virus originated in China by consuming wild animals.
Katie said while the eating of wild animals has since been banned in certain Chinese cities, the world shouldn't forget how this mess started to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.
"If people forget about it in the western world and just focus on how amazing it is for getting better, they're not going to stop it from happening again in the future and nothing will change.
"I've been reading comments online and people need to realise it's not about you. You're young, that's great, you get the virus you're not going to die, you're going to be fine.
"But you need to protect yourself so you don't give it to someone in your community that will die if they get it. People are not thinking about others, they're thinking about themselves.
"I've been seven weeks in lockdown and it's not easy but you have to do it to protect people in your community".
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