Figures released by China on Monday suggest that the tide of the coronavirus epidemic in the nation may be turning.
There are now more patients who have recovered from the illness than there are people who are still infected there.
According to China Global TV Network, as of Monday, there are at least 44,500 people who have recovered from the virus. By comparieson, there about 35,400 existing cases in the county where COVID-19 first appeared.
It's a promising sign for China's fight against the disease that emerged there in December, but comes as cases explode in the US, Italy, South Korea and Iran.
More people in China have recovered from coronavirus than are currently ill for the first time since the outbreak began in December. Pictured: Staff at Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan pose with Ms Hu (center) who, at age 98, is the oldest patient to recover from coronavirus
As of Monday, about 44,500 people in China have recovered from the virus and about 35,000 are currently ill. Pictured: Medical staff at Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan treat a critically ill coronavirus patient, March 1
Worldwide, more than 90,000 patients have been infected with coronavirus and more than 3,000 people have died
In Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, the first of 16 hospitals built specifically to handle the swell of coronavirus patients has closed after discharging its last 34 recovered patients, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Cases in the Hubei province, where th virus fiorst emergedf in the city of Wuhan, have slowly declined with just 196 new infections reported on Sunday.
This is the first time that the province has reported fewer than 200 in a day since January, China's National Health Commission said.
'The rapid rising