China coronavirus outbreak has not yet peaked -politburo

A security guard wearing a face mask walks past the Apple flagship store at Pudong Lujiazui in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak in China has not yet reached its peak, state television quoted a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party as saying on Friday.

“A turning point in the development of the national epidemic situation has not yet arrived,” concluded the meeting, chaired by President Xi Jinping, according to state television.

“The epidemic prevention and control situation in Hubei province and Wuhan city remains severe and complex.”

The ruling Communist Party and the government should not relax but “unceasingly consolidate achievements and extend combat successes,” it said.

China has portrayed its efforts to control the virus, which has killed more than 2,200 and infected more than 75,000, as a war of containment.

All-out efforts should be made in Beijing’s epidemic control work, it said. The number of cases of coronavirus in the capital has jumped sharply while many other parts of the country beyond Hubei are reporting fewer or no new infections.

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on China’s economy is obvious, but the economy’s long-term improving momentum will not change, the meeting said.

Fiscal policy in China will be more proactive, monetary policy will be more flexible, and the government will fend off systemic financial risks, it added.

Reporting by Colin Qian, Judy Hua and Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Alison Williams and John Stonestreet