Monday, March 8

China reports 130 new mainland Covid-19 cases vs 144 a day earlier

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China reported 130 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for January 15, official data showed today, as authorities continued to battle a severe outbreak in the Northeast that has put more than 28 million people under lockdown.

That figure was down from 135 cases a day earlier, the China’s National Health Commission said. Of those cases, 115 were local infections, 90 of which were in Hebei province surrounding Beijing that has been hit hardest in the latest wave.

Another 23 cases were found in northeastern Heilongjiang province while two cases were reported in Beijing.

Total case numbers remain well below what China saw at the height of the outbreak in early 2020, but concerns about a new country-wide wave are growing with a major national holiday a month away and estimates of 296 million railway passenger trips during the Lunar New Year break.

This surge comes as a World Health Organisation-led (WHO) team of investigators are in quarantine in the city of Wuhan, where the disease emerged in late 2019. The team aims to investigate the origins of the pandemic that has now killed nearly 2 million people worldwide.

Authorities in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, which already imposed a lockdown,said late yesterday that they had completed two rounds of testing for Covid-19 and had tested over 10 million people, finding 247 positive cases in the process. Of these, 217 were in the city’s Gaocheng district.

The health commission also today reported 79 new asymptomatic patients, who it does not classify as confirmed cases, were found on January 15 compared to 66 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 88,118, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,635.