China on Friday recorded no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland, the first time it had seen no daily rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began in the city of Wuhan late last year.

According to the official death tally in the country of 1.4 billion people stands at 4,634, well below the number of fatalities in much smaller countries.

The milestone comes a day after the opening of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, where Premier Li Keqiang said the country had “made major strategic achievements in our response to COVID-19.”

He also warned that the country still faced “immense” challenges.

However, local health authorities are conducting mass testing of all of its 11.2 million population to ensure that there is no second wave of the virus attack.

The first COVID-19 vaccine to reach phase I clinical trial is safe, well-tolerated, and capable of generating an immune response against the novel coronavirus in humans, according to a new research published in The Lancet journal.

According to the study of 108 adults, the vaccine produced neutralising antibodies, and a response mediated by the immune system’s T-cells against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Globally, there have been over 52 lakh confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 3.38 lakh people have died so far. The United States, Russia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Spain are the most-affected countries.