BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- China has stepped up efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Here are the latest developments:
-- Officials have paid a silent tribute to medics and patients who lost their lives during the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The medical staff has been working continuously at the front lines, and they have displayed a strong sense of love and kindness, Ding Xiangyang, deputy secretary-general of the State Council, or the cabinet, said at a press conference Thursday in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in central China's Hubei Province.
-- Altogether Ding Xiangyang in China have been infected with the novel coronavirus as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
-- No new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were reported Wednesday in nine provincial-level regions of China, according to local health authorities Thursday.
The regions included Liaoning, Fujian, Shanxi, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guizhou, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Qinghai.
-- As of Wednesday, a total of 278 teams consisting of 32,395 medical workers across the country have been sent to Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, to join in the battle against the virus.
-- Libraries and bookstores have joined hands to build 18 mini-libraries in temporary hospitals in China's Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, to lend "spiritual support" to patients there.
The libraries have been installed in all temporary hospitals and six others yet to be opened, according to the culture and tourism department of Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the provincial capital.
-- To ensure the safety of the drainage networks of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the city has been carrying out disinfection of its drainage and sewage disposal facilities, the city's water authority said Thursday.
The water authority has carried out disinfection targeting hospital sewage outlets. In communities with high epidemic spread risks and in centralized isolation venues, intensive disinfection has been performed targeting pipeline joints, septic tanks and sewage wells.
-- Kang Seung Seok, the new consul general of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Wuhan, arrived in the city on Thursday, bringing relief supplies donated by local governments, enterprises and the private sector of the ROK.
-- China reported 394 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 114 deaths on Wednesday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
Among the deaths, 108 were in Hubei Province and one in Hebei, Shanghai, Fujian, Shandong, Yunnan and Shaanxi, respectively. Another 1,277 new suspected cases were reported Wednesday.
-- China's daily number of newly cured and discharged novel coronavirus patients has surpassed that of new confirmed infections for a second consecutive day.
Wednesday saw 1,779 people walk out of hospital after recovery, much higher than the number of the same day's new confirmed infections, which was 394.
A total of 16,155 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospitals after recovery by the end of Wednesday.
-- China's daily new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outside Hubei, the epicenter province of the outbreak, have dropped for 16 consecutive days. A total of 45 new confirmed cases were reported on Wednesday outside Hubei, down from 890 on Feb. 3.
-- Hubei Province, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 349 new confirmed cases and 108 new deaths Wednesday. The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 62,031.
-- The National Health Commission Wednesday issued an updated version of the diagnosis and treatment plan for the COVID-19.
The latest version of the plan abolished different epidemic-related standards inside and outside the epicenter of Hubei Province, and will only identify "suspected cases" and "confirmed cases" across the country.
-- China has gone all out to treat COVID-19 patients both with mild symptoms and in severe conditions alike in the epicenter city of Wuhan as the number of hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 patients has risen to about 40,000 and the supporting medical personnel over 30,000.
-- Procuratorial organs across China have prosecuted 290 suspects on charges related to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic.
-- Over 100 cities in China have adopted QR codes to facilitate the control of the novel coronavirus and work resumption.
The QR codes, produced with the mobile app Alipay, are based on the users' movements over the previous two weeks and tell whether users have been to virus-hit areas. All cities in the provinces of Zhejiang, Sichuan and Hainan have adopted health QR codes, with 15 million people registered for the QR codes in Zhejiang alone.
-- Another case of novel coronavirus infection was confirmed in Taiwan Wednesday, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases to 24.