China observes fall in new COVID-19 cases

Mainland China observed a decrement in its daily total of new coronavirus cases, flipping four straight days of gains, as the capital Beijing escalated up measures to curb the number of infections coming from abroad.

Imported cases

China registered 39 new confirmed cases on Sunday, according to the National Health Commission, down from 46 a day earlier. Each of them was a traveler arriving from abroad, many of whom are Chinese students returning home.

The city of Beijing widened measures to enclose imported infections, diverting every international flight arriving from Monday to different airports in other cities, including Shanghai and as far west as Xian, where passengers are going to undergo virus screening.

Beijing reported 10 new imported cases, the National Health Commission said on Monday, down from 13 a day earlier. Infections from abroad in the city hit an all-time high of 21 on March 18.

Shanghai and Guangzhou have also stated that every arriving international passenger will undergo tests to screen for the coronavirus, amplifying a program that in the past only applied to those coming from heavily-affected countries.

Shanghai recorded 10 new cases on Sunday, down from a record 14 a day earlier. Guangdong province reported seven new imported infections, Fujian had four and Jiangsu had two. Hebei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Shandong, and Sichuan each saw just one case, tallying the total imported cases in China to 314 so far. Mainland China observed no new locally transmitted infections.

Easing up the lockdown

In Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, authorities have eased up the strict lockdown measures as the epicenter of the outbreak in China observed no new infection for the fifth day.

Now, Downtown Wuhan is the only high-risk area in the province, as other cities and counties in Hubei are now put in low-risk levels. Wuhan adopted a virtual lockdown on Jan. 23 to curb the spread of the virus to the rest of China.

As per the authorities on Sunday, people can enter the city if they are certified healthy and have no fever. Hubei residents who are stuck in Wuhan can apply to leave the city; however, they have to go through a test for the virus and if are certified healthy. There is still no sign that Wuhan residents can leave the city for non-crucial reasons.

As of Sunday, the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China tallied to 81,093.

The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China reached 3,270, up by nine from the previous day.

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