China sees slight rise in new virus infections as imported cases jump

Clay Curtis
April 9, 2020

The city eventually reported no new COVID-19 cases for an extended number of days, due partly to the shelter-in-place order and the construction of dedicated hospitals.

Also, contrary to World Health Organization guidelines, China's official tallies exclude asymptomatic cases, patients who tested positive without showing any symptoms, making it hard to see with more clarity the extent to which the virus spread both within the city of Wuhan and mainland China.

Two deaths were reported on Tuesday, with one in Shanghai and the other in Hubei Province, taking the overall death toll in the country to 3,333, it said. Mainland China had over 600 confirmed infection cases and at least 17 deaths.

By this time, 76 days had passed since the city's lockdown on January 23. "With the restrictions ending, Hubei's provincial capital begins another experiment: resuming business and ordinary life while preventing more illnesses".

According to a South China Morning Post report on classified Chinese government data, more than 43,000 asymptomatic cases confirmed in China by the end of February were excluded from the official tally.

Quotas on travel have been imposed - for instance, only 1,000 people per day are allowed to enter Beijing from Wuhan.

Almost 1,000 vehicles went through a busy highway toll booth at Wuhan's border between midnight, when barricades were lifted, and 7am, according to Yan Xiangsheng, a district police chief.

On Wednesday, a number of transport links, including trains, flights and buses to and from Wuhan came back online with tens of thousands of people expected to depart the city. The government has lifted the ban on road, air and train travel for all the locals who have acquired health certificates.

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By Wednesday, 960 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in Hong Kong, 45 confirmed cases in the Macao and 379 in Taiwan including five deaths, state run Xinhua news agency reported.

Over 50,000 people in Wuhan have been afflicted with the virus, and more than 2,500 have died, accounting for 80 per cent of all fatalities in the country.

"I can't wait returning to my hometown", said Guo, a native of east China's Shandong Province.

"I have lived in Wuhan for eight years".

"We are living in a good era", Chen said. A total of 15 asymptomatic cases, all imported, were re-categorized as confirmed infections, and 32 were discharged from medical observation including seven imported cases, according to the commission.

Workers have disinfected bullet trains, the entrance and exits, waiting halls and platforms of the railway stations in advance.

"The crew will wear goggles, masks, and gloves throughout the flight", said Guo Binxue, chief attendant of the flight MU2527. An airport official estimated that they would fly out 10,000 passengers from Wuhan by the end of the day.

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