World

China reports over 100 new infections ahead of New Year travel exodus

BEIJING: China reported more than 100 new Covid-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, with rising infections in the north-east fuelling concerns of another national wave when hundreds of millions travel for the Chinese New Year holiday.

Tough new curbs in Gongzhuling in Jilin province, which has a population of around a million people, brings the total number of people under lockdown to more than 29 million.

The National Health Commission reported 109 new cases for Sunday, unchanged from a day earlier. Of the 93 local infections, 54 were in Hebei, which surrounds Beijing.

Officials are concerned infections could spread rapidly nationwide during the Chinese New Year holiday in less than a month. China Railway Corporation expects around 296 million railway passenger trips during the Chinese New Year break.

The total number of cases in China is now at 89,336, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,635.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported 107 cases yesterday, the highest toll in nearly a month as the authorities tested thousands of residents after an outbreak in an old residential building located in a busy commercial and residential area last week.

Hong Kong last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec 19 with 109 cases.

Dozens of infections were found last week in a densely packed apartment building in Yau Tsim Mong, a teeming district in the Kowloon area.

Hong Kong has recorded nearly 10,000 cases and 162 deaths since the start of last year. - REUTERS

WORLD