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Hubei lifts restrictions as China reports no new coronavirus cases

China lifted tough restrictions on the province at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday after a months-long lockdown as the country reported no new domestic cases.

But there were another 47 imported infections from overseas, the National Health Commission said, as the number of cases brought into the country continued to swell.

In total, 474 imported infections have been diagnosed in China — mostly Chinese nationals returning home according to the foreign ministry.

Four more people died, health officials said Wednesday, three in central Hubei province where the virus first emerged late last year.

China announced on Tuesday that the lockdown would be lifted on more than 50 million people in Hubei, with residents now allowed to leave if healthy, with some airports and train stations, opening.

The city of Wuhan — the initial epicentre of the outbreak — will allow residents to leave from April 8.

Hubei ordered the shutdown in January but had been gradually easing rules and permitting people to move about within the province and return to work over recent days.

(AFP)