President Xi visits Wuhan as coronavirus outbreak slows in China

State news agency Xinhua said the president wanted to “visit and express regards to” those affected by the infection, including medical workers and patients.

National television broadcaster CCTV said Xi began his visit at Huoshenshan hospital, one of the makeshift medical facilities treating patients in severe and critical conditions.

Images published in state-owned media outlets showed Xi greeting the healthcare workers and meeting with health officials, as well as waving to a coronavirus patient through video conferencing.

More than 80,000 people have been infected in the country. More than 3,100 have died.

Xi’s visit came at a time when reported cases of coronavirus infection, known as COVID-19, are steadily declining in China.

In recent days, only a few dozen confirmed cases were reported, compared with thousands during the peak of the epidemic.

Many provinces in China have also reported zero new cases for a number of days.

Additionally, the government also ordered the closing down of the makeshift hospitals in Wuhan due to the decline in the number of reported cases.

According to reports, less than 20,000 of the confirmed cases are still under treatment, with almost 60,000 having reportedly recovered.

‘Political show’
Throughout the outbreak in China, President Xi made very few public appearances.

For people in Wuhan, who have been under quarantine measures, his visit did little to appease residents who are becoming more resentful of the government’s response.

“When all of us were asking where Xi Jinping was in the initial days of the outbreak, he made zero appearance,” a Wuhan resident, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, told Al Jazeera.

“After the peak of the epidemic had passed and the outbreak is under control, he came and told people ‘remember me, I have indeed come to visit you’. This kind of political show is disgusting.”

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