The number of Chinese patients with coronavirus is greater than the number who have recovered, according to figures released over the weekend.
The trend seems to be holding: as of Monday there have been 44,518 recoveries in China, compared to 32,741 outstanding infections.
The figures suggest a tipping point in the spread of the disease on the mainland, which has noticeably slowed in recent days.
However, outside of China — including in Iran, Italy, and South Korea — the virus is continuing to pick up speed.
Figures released by the Chinese government on Monday showed a new and optimistic trend: the total number of people to have recovered from the coronavirus exceeds the number who are currently sick.
Numbers reported by the state-controlled China Global TV Network (CGTN) put the total recoveries at 44,518 as of March 2.
The tipping point came on February 29, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The trend has held for the two days since.
According to the latest figures, in China there has been a total of 80,174 cases — a figure which includes all people confirmed to have ever been sick, including those who died, and those who are well again.
In China, CGTN said, 2,915 had died (this includes one death in Taiwan), meaning that the remaining number of people still to be sick is smaller than the number of people to have got better.
To look at China's figures another way, there are:
80,174 all-time infections
32,741 outstanding infections
There have been some reports of coronavirus patients recovering but then falling sick again, which would complicate the picture painted by the figures above. However, thus far re-infection seems not to be widespread.
Taken as a whole, the data suggests that China, which still has by far the majority of cases worldwide, could be over the worst of its crisis.
Mi Feng, a spokesperson for China's National Health Commission, told a briefing: "The rapid rising trend of virus cases in Wuhan has been controlled," according to Reuters.
"Outbreaks in Hubei outside of Wuhan are curbed and provinces outside of Hubei are showing a positive trend," he added.
China also announced that one of 16 hospitals rapidly built in Wuhan, the epicenter of the crisis, had discharged its last patient and would close, according to Reuters.
As of Sunday, around 9,000 cases have been reported outside of China, with growing hotspots in Iran, Italy and South Korea.
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