SHANGHAI: China reported 101 new coronavirus cases for Tuesday (Jul 28), its highest single-day figure in three months, as gyms, bars and museums closed in infection hotspots.
Of the new cases, 98 were domestic infections, mostly in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where a growing cluster first discovered earlier this month has prompted mass testing and restrictions, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, on Wednesday. Three were imported cases.
China – where the global outbreak first emerged – had largely brought domestic transmission under control through targeted lockdowns, travel restrictions and testing. But sporadic regional outbreaks have illustrated the difficulty of keeping the virus at bay.
The last time it recorded so many new cases was Apr 13, when 108 infections were confirmed – mostly imported.
As of Tuesday, China had 84,060 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
It also reported 27 new asymptomatic patients on Tuesday, down from 34 a day earlier.
Authorities have concentrated their attention on a cluster which emerged last week at a food processing plant in Dalian, in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Officials said workers there handled contaminated packaging of imported seafood.
Dalian health officials said on Sunday that they would mass-test all six million residents within four days.
More than three million people have been tested in Dalian, and Zhao Lian, head of the city’s health commission, said Wednesday that enclosed public venues – including libraries, gyms, bars, museums, restaurants and spas – would be closed.
During an inspection tour to the city this week, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan urged local authorities to increase oversight of imported goods, as well as of any people leaving Dalian, state news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.
“The task of prevention and control is still arduous, and there should be no slacking,” Sun was quoted as saying.
Following a June outbreak in Beijing which infected more than 300 people, Dalian authorities are using a similar targeted approach to implement virus control measures on different districts of the city based on their risk levels.
Fujian has said the provincial capital Fuzhou would enter “wartime mode” after it discovered an asymptomatic patient who had travelled from Dalian, 1,500km away.
The new measures mean increased scrutiny of travellers who enter the city from nationwide virus hotspots.