China reports just one new domestic virus infection

China also reported 11 deaths on Wednesday (today), raising its toll to 3,237

Afp March 18, 2020
PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING: China reported just one new domestic case in the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, but a dozen more imported infections from overseas.

For the second consecutive day there was only one more fresh infection in Wuhan, the central city where the virus first emerged late last year, the National Health Commission said.

New cases in Hubei province have now been in the single digits for the past seven days, down from a peak of several thousand per day in early February.

Wuhan and its 11 million people were placed under strict quarantine on January 23, with the rest of Hubei province going under lockdown in the following days.

In recent days, there has been an easing of restrictions in some parts of the province, with China saying it has "basically curbed" the spread of the virus.

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But there were 12 new imported cases reported on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 155 and fuelling fears of an influx of cases from overseas.

An average of 20,000 people are flying into China every day, according to the government, and 10 Chinese provinces and municipalities are imposing mandatory quarantines on those arriving from abroad.

Beijing requires almost all international arrivals to go into 14-day quarantine in designated hotels in the capital.

Five of the new imported cases were in Guangdong - China's most populous province, which announced quarantine measures on Monday - with three more each in Beijing and Shanghai, and one elsewhere.

China also reported 11 deaths Wednesday, raising its toll to 3,237.

Total cases in the mainland reached 80,894.

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