China reports 46 new cases as it begins first phase trial for vaccine, Latest World News - The New Paper

China reports 46 new cases as it begins first phase trial for vaccine

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BEIJING: China yesterday reported 46 new cases of the coronavirus, the fourth straight day with an increase, with all but one of those imported from overseas, and further stepped up measures to intercept cases from abroad as the outbreak worsens globally.

While China says it has drastically reduced the number of domestically transmitted cases - the one reported yesterday was the first in four days - it is seeing a steady rise in imported cases, mostly from Chinese people returning from overseas.

In a sign of how seriously China is taking the threat of imported cases, all international flights due to arrive in Beijing starting today will first land at another airport, where passengers will undergo virus screenings, government agencies said yesterday, in an expansion of existing measures.

International flights scheduled to arrive in the capital will land instead at one of 12 airports.

Passengers who clear screening will be permitted to reboard the plane, which will then fly to Beijing, the regulator said.

Separately, China has started the first phase of a clinical trial for a vaccine, records show.

The Chinese effort is expected to continue until the year end, according to a filing in the country's Clinical Trial Registry, dated last Tuesday.

"Volunteers of the Covid-19 phase one trial have already started receiving the vaccine," a staff member said. The 108 participants, aged between 18 and 60, will be tested in three groups and given different dosages.

They are all residents of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year.

There have been more than 81,000 infections with at least 3,260 deaths in China so far.


In South Korea, members of a church scuffled with the police yesterday, media reported.

At the Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul, several attendees tried to force out a dozen police officers, domestic newswire Yonhap reported.

A video uploaded by a purported member of the church on YouTube shows a woman lying on the ground while another is heard shouting: "Why are you doing this? Is this North Korea?"

Yonhap quoted a city official as saying the church did not follow rules and ensure sufficient space among the attendees.

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported 98 new cases, bringing national infections to nearly 8,900.

The death toll rose by six to 110. - AFP, REUTERS