Beijing: Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged, as Beijing continued to struggle to extinguish the outbreak despite drastic containment efforts.
The National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of the day on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.
Residents chat along the Yangtze River in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Sunday. Quarantine in the the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak is to be formally lifted on Wednesday.Credit:AP
Imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who have the virus and can give it to others but show no symptoms, have become China's chief concern in recent weeks after draconian containment measures succeeded in slashing the infection rate.
Of the new cases showing symptoms, 38 were people who had entered China from abroad, compared with 25 a day earlier, authorities said. One new locally transmitted infection was reported, in the southern province of Guangdong, down from five a day earlier in the same province.
The new locally transmitted case, in the city of Shenzhen, was a person who had travelled from Hubei province, the original epicentre of the outbreak, Guangdong provincial authorities said.
People wear protective masks as they walk while enjoying the spring weather on April 5, 2020 at a park in Beijing.Credit:Getty Images
The Guangdong health commission raised the risk level for a total of four districts in the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Jieyang from low to medium late on Sunday.
Mainland China has now reported a total of 81,708 cases, with 3331 deaths – numbers US intelligence agencies have said they do not trust.
Daily infections have fallen dramatically from the peak of the epidemic in February, when hundreds were reported daily, but new infections continue to appear daily.
The country has closed off its borders to foreigners as the virus spreads globally, though most imported cases involve Chinese nationals returning from overseas.
The central government also has pushed local authorities to identify and isolate the asymptomatic patients. At the same time as restrictions in some previously locked down cities appear to be easing, with thousands of people reportedly flocking to the Yellow Mountains and other open areas.
Singapore has reported 120 new coronavirus cases, by far its highest daily rise, and quarantined nearly 20,000 migrant workers in their dormitories.
While the number of daily new coronavirus infections in South Korea has dropped below 50 for the first time since late February, but the country's vice health minister urged vigilance to maintain hard-won gains against the virus.
Kim Gang-lip expressed concerns over loosened attitudes toward social distancing that he said puts the country at potential risk of an infection "explosion" similar to Europe and the United States.
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