China reports fewest new virus cases on record
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China reported just eight cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with no new domestic infections outside the epicentre of Hubei province.
The National Health Commission said there were five more people infected in Hubei's capital Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December.
The numbers are the lowest daily tally for Wuhan since China started reporting figures in January.
Three more imported cases from overseas were reported -- two in Shanghai and one in Beijing -- fuelling fears about China's strict containment measures being undone by people coming in from hotspots in other countries.
There have now been 88 imported cases.
Another seven people died, bringing the national toll from the disease in mainland China to 3,176. More than 80,000 people have been infected.
With new infections falling dramatically in recent days, authorities this week began to loosen some restrictions on Hubei's 56 million people, who have been under quarantine since late January.
The government in Qianjiang, a city of one million, said Thursday it would arrange special transport to take healthy workers to their jobs both inside and outside the province.
The local government in Shishou, a small city of just over half a million, was also allowing workers to leave.
Meanwhile, healthy people living in low-risk areas of the province can now travel within Hubei.
While Wuhan is not included in the loosening of restrictions, some of the city's companies were told this week they could resume work.