World

China reports 68 new cases, including two in Beijing

Most of 68 new cases in Xinjiang, but virus is spreading to other regions

BEIJING : China had 68 new coronavirus cases on Monday, up for the fourth consecutive day, including two in Beijing, the country's health authority said yesterday.

China is battling the most aggressive return of Covid-19 in months, driven by infections in the far western region of Xinjiang and a separate flare-up in the north-east.

Of the new local infections, 57 were in Xinjiang. That brings the total number of cases in the region's current outbreak to 235 since the first infection was reported on July 16.

Xinjiang authorities have yet to explain how patient zero, a 24-year-old woman who worked in a mall in its capital Urumqi, contracted the virus.

The north-eastern province of Liaoning reported six new cases yesterday.

The current outbreak in Liaoning, which began last Wednesday, centres mostly in the port city of Dalian, east of Beijing.

The first case in Dalian worked at a seafood processing company, and had not travelled out of the city in recent weeks.

Xinjiang and Dalian have tested millions of people for Covid-19, but the coronavirus is already on the move.

Beijing reported two new infections, one linked to Dalian and the other imported.

They were the first new cases in the Chinese capital for more than three weeks.

Health authorities said the Dalian cluster has now spread to nine cities in five regions across the country, including as far away as the south-east coastal province of Fujian.

Fujian officials said the provincial capital Fuzhou would enter "wartime mode" after it discovered an asymptomatic patient who had travelled from Dalian.

The new measures mean increased scrutiny of travellers who enter the city from nationwide virus hotspots.

Twelve new asymptomatic cases were also recorded in Dalian yesterday.

Dalian authorities have banned group celebratory dining activities and ordered customers to display a local "health code" when entering restaurants.

Across the country, 391 people are still hospitalised with the virus.

In Hong Kong, health authorities yesterday said there were 106 new infections, of which 98 were local and the remainder imported. This brings the total tally in the territory to 2,884, including 22 fatalities.

TAIWAN

Meanwhile, Taiwan yesterday was investigating its first possible local infection in more than a month - a Thai man who tested positive last week - as the island also faces a rise in cases brought from overseas.

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Centre said it was probing where and how the man contracted the virus. The migrant worker arrived on the island in January and tested positive on Saturday, shortly after returning to Thailand.

More than 180 people who had contact with him have undergone health screenings, the centre said.

Taiwan also reported five new cases yesterday, all imported and marking the biggest daily rise in infections since mid-April.

Indonesia reported 1,748 new infections yesterday, bringing its tally to 102,051 confirmed cases overall, Health Ministry data showed. The number of deaths rose by 63, bringing the total to 4,901.

In the Philippines, the health ministry yesterday confirmed 1,678 new infections, reporting more than 1,000 new daily cases for a 14th successive day.

The ministry said total deaths had increased by four to 1,947, with confirmed cases rising to 83,673. - REUTERS, AFP

WORLD