China reports 130 new mainland COVID-19 cases vs 144 a day earlier

Reuters

Posted at Jan 16 2021 03:05 PM

China reports 130 new mainland COVID-19 cases vs 144 a day earlier 1
People line up to receive the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a makeshift vaccination site inside a sports center in Beijing's Haidian district, China January 8, 2021. cnsphoto via Reuters

SHANGHAI — China reported 130 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Jan. 15, official data showed on Saturday, as authorities continued to battle a severe outbreak in the Northeast that has put more than 28 million people under lockdown.

That figure was down from 135 cases a day earlier, China's National Health Commission said. Of those cases, 115 were local infections, 90 of which were in Hebei province surrounding Beijing that has been hit hardest in the latest wave.

Another 23 cases were found in northeastern Heilongjiang province while two cases were reported in Beijing.

Total case numbers remain well below what China saw at the height of the outbreak in early 2020, but concerns about a new country-wide wave are growing with a major national holiday a month away and estimates of 296 million railway passenger trips during the Lunar New Year break.

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This surge comes as a World Health Organization-led (WHO) team of investigators are in quarantine in the city of Wuhan, where the disease emerged in late 2019. The team aims to investigate the origins of the pandemic that has now killed nearly 2 million people worldwide.

Authorities in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, which already imposed a lockdown, said late on Friday that they had completed two rounds of testing for COVID-19 and had tested over 10 million people, finding 247 positive cases in the process. Of these, 217 were in the city's Gaocheng district.

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The health commission also on Saturday reported 79 new asymptomatic patients, who it does not classify as confirmed cases, were found on Jan. 15 compared to 66 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 88,118, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,635.