China sees rise in new Covid-19 cases despite curbs

  • China
  • Thursday, 21 Jan 2021

A staff member from the center for disease control and prevention collects a swab from a seafood stall for nucleic acid testing, at a market in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China January 20, 2021. - Reuters

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters): China reported a rise in new Covid-19 cases despite a flurry of recent measures to contain the latest outbreak in the north-east, with Heilongjiang province recording its biggest daily increase in new patients to date,

Tens of millions of residents in Hebei province surrounding Beijing, the north-eastern Jilin province and Heilongjiang have been put into lockdown in recent weeks amid what is the worst wave of new infections since March 2020.

Authorities are asking people to stay home during the Chinese New Year holidays in February as part of the efforts to prevent another debilitating outbreak.

A total of 144 new cases were reported on Jan 20, the National Health Commission said on Monday, matching the total reported on Jan 14 and marking the highest number of daily infections since March 1.

This still remains a fraction of what China saw during the height of the outbreak in January-February 2020, however.

Of the 126 new local infections, Heilongjiang accounted for 68 while Jilin reported 33.

Hebei, which had so far seen the biggest spike in cases this month, reported 20 new cases, and Beijing reported two cases.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed infections, rose to 113 from 58 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 88,701, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,635.

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