China: Some imported cases hid symptoms and boarded flights
BEIJING: As China reported a drop in new coronavirus cases on Sunday, major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai continued to wrestle with cases of infections in travellers arriving from abroad.
China had 16 new infections on Sunday, the National Health Commission said yesterday, down from 20 the previous day, taking the mainland's tally to 80,860.
Twelve of the new cases were imported infections, exceeding the number of domestic transmissions for a third day.
The World Health Organisation says Europe has become the pandemic's current epicentre.
Beijing's four new cases were all Chinese nationals returning from abroad, Ms Pang Xinghuo, deputy director at Beijing Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control, said yesterday.
Three had shown symptoms such as fever before they came back, yet they still boarded long-haul international flights, Ms Pang said.
"Those behaviours increased the risk of infection for those people travelling together," she added.
China issued a joint statement from several ministries yesterday saying it would punish people who make false health declarations when entering the country.
Beijing police said they were investigating a case involving a 37-year-old woman coming back from the US who had hid her symptoms before boarding.
In South Korea yesterday, President Moon Jae-in said he was increasingly confident the country would overcome the coronavirus as the rate of new infections continued to drop, although the authorities noted another large cluster had emerged in the greater Seoul area.
There were 74 new coronavirus infections reported yesterday, down from 76 on Sunday and marking the second day in a row that the number has been below 100. That is well below a Feb 29 peak of 909.
South Korea has 8,236 confirmed infections - the highest number in Asia outside China - while the death toll rose by four to 79, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. - REUTERS