New cases, all imported, on the rise in China

BEIJING / SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese health officials on Thursday reported 67 new confirmed cases of coronavirus contamination in mainland China, all involving travelers from abroad, an increase from the previous day.

In a daily update, the National Health Commission said that the country's coronavirus toll stood at 81,285 cases of infection and 3,287 deaths on Wednesday, six more than Tuesday.

No case of local transmission of the virus has been identified.

About 90 percent of imported infection cases involve Chinese passport holders, Deputy Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui said at a press conference. Some 40% of them are Chinese students who returned from abroad to flee the spread of the virus, he said.

Fearing a new wave of contamination caused by cases imported from abroad, China has taken new measures to screen and filter travelers arriving in major cities, especially the capital Beijing, where all foreigners must be placed in solitary confinement. arrival.

Beijing is also concerned about the existence of a large but unknown number of healthy carriers of the new coronavirus which could cause a new wave of contamination.

The number of new daily cases of contamination in mainland China remains significantly below levels seen in February, when the epidemic peaked in the country, which allowed the government to push for economic activity to resume.

Hubei province, the cradle of the new coronavirus where some 60 million people live, did not report any new cases of contamination on Wednesday and reopened its borders and public transportation.

(Se Young Lee, David Stanway and Yew Lun Tian; French version Jean Terzian)