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Situation on the ground: Live link-up with CGTN correspondent in Wuhan, China Updated: 2020-02-18 16:45:54 KST

Meanwhile, the death toll from China's coronavirus epidemic has jumped to nearly 18-70 after more deaths were reported overnight and thousands of new cases were confirmed bringing the national total to well over 72-thousand.
Most of the deaths have been in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicenter of the outbreak.
That province has been locked down to try to contain the virus, with tens of millions of people placed under effective quarantine there.
We have a correspondent at ground zero joining us live from Wuhan, China.
Xu Zhaoqun is a correspondent for China's CGTN.

Zhaoqun, where you are, Wuhan - that's a city of 11 million people. From the footages we've seen recently, we could hardly see anyone, anything out on the streets. Surreal, really. First, bring us up to speed on the latest coronavirus situation in China.

Now, as we briefly mentioned at the top of the broadcast, Wuhan, the epicenter of COVID-19 is under lockdown. We've also heard of thousands of healthcare professionals working around the clock on the front line of the outbreak. The latest, we're hearing is that the director of a hospital there has become the latest victim of the new coronavirus to die from the disease. Describe to us what the situation is like there.

Wuhan has again vowed a citywide dragnet style inspection of the virus, making sure all those who have contracted the virus are rounded up. What's prompting the city government to carry out this inspection and from what you're witnessing and learning on the ground, how soon do you think this COVID-19 can be contained there?

XU Zhaoqun, China's CGTN correspondent reporting for us live from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Thanks for a great coverage, make sure you stay safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in China.

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