Beijing announces wearing masks outdoors not necessary

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: May 17, 2020, 03.32 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The novel coronavirus, which broke out in China's Wuhan in December, 2019, has claimed 3,13,545 lives so far across the world. There are currently 47,36,389 confirmed cases in 213 countries.

Beijing has announced that henceforth it would not be mandatory to wear a mask outdoors -- the first city in China and perhaps in the world to do so in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The novel coronavirus, which broke out in China's Wuhan in December, 2019, has claimed 3,13,545 lives so far across the world. There are currently 47,36,389 confirmed cases in 213 countries.

State-run China Daily reported, "After months of wearing masks to prevent virus infection risks, people can now breathe freely outside without a mask in Beijing."

The new guidelines announced by the Beijing Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Sunday said people don't need to wear masks outside, but still should avoid close contact with others. They also encouraged the public to take some outdoor exercise when the weather is good, which is helpful to increase the quality of life and health.

The announcement comes ahead of China's Parliament -- the National People's Congress (NPC) -- all set to hold its postponed annual session on May 22 amid a steady decline in the coronavirus cases in the country.

The annual session of the national advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is also expected to be held in Beijing on May 21.

The deadly virus has claimed 4,634 lives in the country.

As of Saturday, the number of coronavirus cases stood at 82,947 in China. Of the total cases, 86 patients were being treated, while 78,227 people had been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

Beijing has reported nine deaths due to the viral infection and a total of 593 cases since late January.

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