China reports 115 new coronavirus cases, biggest increase in five months

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2021

The Chinese mainland yesterday reported 179 COVID positive cases including 76 asymptomatic cases, the National Health Commission said today. This was the highest daily increase since July 30.

But Hebei province in northern China has reported 560 new cases in recent weeks - 234 of which are asymptomatic - sparking a raft of new lockdowns and restrictions. No deaths had been reported among the imported cases.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 38 from 81 cases a day earlier, while 556 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation. Among them, 4,165 had been discharged from hospitals following recovery, and 286 remained hospitalised.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the mainland reached 87,706 by Tuesday, including 784 patients still receiving treatment, 21 of whom were in severe condition.

Elsewhere, Heilongjiang province reported 36 new asymptomatic cases in Wangkui county, which also went into lockdown on Monday.

In a rare move, Jinzhong, a city in Shanxi province that shares a border with Shijiazhuang, said on Tuesday that it will administer COVID-19 tests on all travellers from Hebei on arrival, on top of other mandatory COVID-19 tests.

Over 70 percent of confirmed cases distributed are in rural areas, which have the tradition of holding weddings ahead of the Lunar New Year.

The city of Changchun in neighbouring Jilin province reported seven new asymptomatic patients on January 11, four of whom had travelled from Wangkui recently, and placed their residential compounds under lockdown, preventing people from leaving.

Heilongjiang province on Wednesday declared a COVID-19 emergency. Many provinces have issued notices urging workers to stay put for the festival. The team will have to spend 14 days in quarantine, NHC spokesman Mi Feng said. The city of Suihua, which borders the provincial capital Harbin, put its 5.2 million people under lockdown. Of the 85 locally transmitted confirmed cases, 82 were reported in north China's Hebei Province, two in Liaoning Province, and one in Beijing. No new asymptomatic cases were reported on Tuesday.

A year ago in February when the virus began spreading across China authorities had clampdown on weddings calling for nuptials to be delayed and to scale down funerals.

Beijing reported no new confirmed cases on Tuesday, but city authorities have further stepped up screening and prevention measures to prevent another cluster from developing there.

Chinese health experts warned that the coronavirus spreading in China appears to be more infectious and transmissible, and asymptomatic infections, especially silent infections in villages, have become a new and big challenge for China, judging from the ongoing Shijiazhuang outbreak, reported Global Times. Following the case, Beijing requires passengers using taxis and ride-hailing platforms to register their health status through a phone app.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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