China reports another rise in new coronavirus cases
BEIJING/SHANGHAI China reported another rise in new coronavirus cases yesterday as infections from abroad outnumbered cases of local transmission for a fourth consecutive day, prompting some parts of the country to tighten monitoring of foreign travellers.
China had 21 new confirmed cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said, up from 16 a day earlier.
Of the new cases, 20 involved infected travellers from abroad.
In contrast, China had only one case of locally transmitted infection on Monday, in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province where the flu-like disease appeared in humans late last year.
Beijing accounted for nine of the imported new cases even as it imposed tough restrictions to screen and isolate those coming from abroad.
Beijing Capital International Airport has cordoned off a special zone for all international flights, with all disembarking passengers required to undergo health checks.
Transit passengers were sent to their connecting flights, while non-transit passengers were shuttled to a nearby processing venue from which they were dispatched to designated places for compulsory 14-day quarantine.
In the central city of Wuhan, the officials said they would begin requiring overseas arrivals to undergo 14-day quarantine at a central location at the people's own cost, emulating Beijing. Other cities in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, are doing the same, as is Anhui province and Shandong province.
South Korea too said it will be tightening controls.
The stricter checks for all arrivals will start tomorrow.
"We've assessed that there's a need for universal special entry procedures for all arrivals, given rapid increases in new cases not only in Europe but in the United States and Asia in the wake of the pandemic," said Vice-Health Minister Kim Gang-lip.
The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported 84 new coronavirus cases as of yesterday.
It was the third day in a row that the county has reported fewer than 100 new infections, raising hopes that Asia's largest outbreak outside China may be easing. - REUTERS