Fewer cases in China but more local transmissions near Russia border
BEIJING: China reported a decline in new cases of the coronavirus yesterday, but there was an increasing number of local transmissions in its far north-east bordering Russia.
China reported 46 new infections on Tuesday compared with 89 cases a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission. Of the new cases, 36 involved travellers arriving in China from overseas, compared with 86 a day earlier.
The 10 remaining cases were new locally transmitted infections, with Heilongjiang province accounting for eight of them and southern Guangdong province accounting for two.
In Beijing, where prevention measures remain stringent, there was one imported case from the US, state broadcaster CCTV said.
The patient started to show symptoms two days after arrival, despite testing negative initially.
The north-eastern province of Heilongjiang has become a front line in China's fight to keep out imported cases as infected Chinese nationals return overland from Russia.
China has closed the border with Russia at Suifenhe, a city in Heilongjiang with a checkpoint into Russia.
New infections involving travellers arriving from Russia have also hit other parts of China such as the northern autonomous region of Inner Mongolia and the financial hub of Shanghai.
Some new cases were asymptomatic. Two of the latest Heilongjiang cases on Tuesday were patients who showed no symptoms previously.
Heilongjiang reported one new asymptomatic case on Tuesday, a Chinese national returning from Russia. That brings the current number of asymptomatic cases in the province involving travellers arriving from abroad to 52.
The number of new asymptomatic cases in China increased to 57 on Tuesday from 54 a day earlier. More than 6,700 asymptomatic cases have been reported since January.
China has launched an epidemiological survey in nine regions in an effort to determine the full scale of asymptomatic infections and overall immunity levels, the official China Daily newspaper reported yesterday.
As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China had reached 82,295.
The authorities said 3,342 people have died from the virus in China. - REUTERS