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Medical staff cheer before going into an ICU ward for coronavirus patients at the Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on Monday. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

There were no new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours in Hubei province, China, including the city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 was first discovered, per a post on the local health department's website Wednesday.

Why it matters: Chinese authorities introduced unprecedented measures in January in an effort to contain the virus, including suspending all travel in and out of all cities in Hubei province and preventing the province's 59 million people from leaving home.

  • The report of zero cases is the strongest indication yet that such extreme measures can help contain the virus, as cases soar globally to more than 217,000.

Of note: China's National Health Commission reported later there were a total of 34 new infections in the country Wednesday, mostly in Beijing (21 cases). All of the new cases were patients who had returned from travel in other countries.

The big picture: Health officials are still trying to trace the source of the outbreak of the new strain of the coronavirus. The first known case to have been reported appeared in Wuhan in early December, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet last month.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.