Twelve novel coronavirus patients were discharged from a hospital in Hebei province on Thursday, according to China Central Television, the first recoveries since the province began detecting infections on Jan 2.
Another 18 asymptomatic carriers have completed centralized medical observation and are recovering at Hebei Chest Hospital in Shijiazhuang, a designated facility, the report said.
The recovered patients stepped out of isolation wards at about 1 pm, greeted by flowers and blessings from hospital staff members, it said.
The decision to discharge the patients has been reviewed by experts at the provincial and the national levels.
Wu Shucai, president of the hospital, said the recoveries have bolstered the confidence of all health workers, who he said shall make a continuous effort to cure more patients.