Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first visit to coronavirus-hit Wuhan city on Tuesday since the virus outbreak amid signs that the epidemic started abating.
His visit comes as Chinese health authority on Tuesday announced 17 new deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 3,136.
Xi, also the general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, arrived in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, on Tuesday for an inspection of the epidemic prevention and control work in Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
During the visit, he will express regards to medical workers, military officers and soldiers, community workers, police officers, officials and volunteers who have been fighting the epidemic on the front line, as well as patients and residents during the inspection, Xinhua report said.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities reported 19 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 17 fatalities on Monday.
All the 17 new deaths were in Hubei province and its capital Wuhan, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 80,754 by the end of Monday. This included 3,136 people who died of the disease, 17,721 patients still undergoing treatment and 59,897 patients discharged after recovery, the NHC said.
This is the second visit to Wuhan by a top Chinese leader.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Wuhan on January 26 when the COVID-19 virus spread at an alarming pace, prompting China to lockdown the city and Hubei province with 50 million people.