The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday welcomed the news that there are no more hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, praising its people's "tireless efforts" to combat the pandemic.
After more than three months of arduous fight, Wuhan, the central Chinese city once hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, cleared all COVID-19 cases in hospitals on Sunday.
"That's very very welcome news to hear that there are no more severe cases, no more patients in Wuhan," said Maria van Kerkhove, technical lead for the WHO's Health Emergencies Program at a virtual press briefing here.
"So congratulations on this achievement," she said.
Dr. van Kerkhove appreciated the "tireless efforts" of the people in Wuhan -- "not just the healthcare workers but the individuals who stayed in their homes, who adhered to the public health measures."
"We take our hats off to you, and we thank you for your commitment and your service, and for sharing with us in the world what you've been able to do," she said.
As one of the China-WHO joint experts who visited China in February for a field study, Dr. van Kerkhove said "China has worked very hard to bring the outbreak under control."
"I was there for two weeks and working directly with ministry officials, and officials from all different sectors, from hospitals, through communities, to really see what was put in place to bring those numbers down," she recalled.
The doctor also asked the Wuhan people to "remain vigilant," should new cases appear.
"The world has learned from China," Dr. van Kerkhove said, "and we need to continue to learn from Wuhan on how they are lifting those measures, how they are bringing society back to normal, or a new normal, in terms of how we're going to live with this virus going forward."