Home General China reports one local coronavirus case, 54 imported, cuts international flights

China reports one local coronavirus case, 54 imported, cuts international flights

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Woman wearing a face mask takes pictures with a mobile phone at a riverside park in Wuhan
A woman wearing a face mask takes pictures with a mobile phone at a riverside park by the Yangtze River in Wuhan of Hubei province, the epicentre of China’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

March 27, 2020

By Se Young Lee and Lusha Zhang

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Mainland China reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in three days and 54 new imported cases, as Beijing ordered airlines to sharply cut international flights, for fear travellers could reignite the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday’s 55 new cases were down from 67 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Friday, taking the tally of infections to 81,340, as five new deaths raised the toll to 3,292.

Imported infections, mostly among Chinese nationals returning home, now pose the biggest concern for authorities.

The commercial capital of Shanghai reported the most new imported cases with 17, followed by 12 in the southern province of Guangdong and four each in the capital Beijing and the nearby city of Tianjin.

Shanghai now has 125 patients who arrived from overseas, including 46 from Britain and 27 from the United States.

The central province of Hubei, with a population of about 60 million, where the virus first appeared late last year, reported no new cases on Thursday, a day after lifting a lockdown and reopening its borders as the epidemic eased there.

A premature easing of curbs in Hubei’s capital of Wuhan, including the reopening of schools and workplaces, could boost the risk of a large new wave of infections, possibly as early as August, a study in the British medical journal the Lancet said.

“But if they relax those restrictions gradually, this is likely to both delay and flatten the peak,” said Kiesha Prem of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who led the study, published this week.

In effect from Sunday, China has ordered its airlines to fly only one route to any country, on just one flight each week. Foreign airlines must comply with similar curbs on flights to China, although many had already halted services.

About 90% of current international flights into China will be suspended, cutting arrivals to 5,000 passengers a day, from 25,000, the civil aviation regulator said late on Thursday.

From Saturday, China will temporarily suspend entry for foreigners with valid visas and residence permits, in an interim measure, the foreign ministry added.

Before the new curbs, foreign nationals made up about a tenth of the roughly 20,000 travellers arriving on international flights every day, an official of China’s National Immigration Administration told a briefing last week.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee, Lusha Zhang, Stella Qiu and David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez)





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2 COMMENTS

  1. It should be obvious and apparent that China has never stated the real numbers related to confirmed infections and deaths. A serious virus that infects a portion of 60 million, of 1.4 billion population, and then spreads to every corner of China in a month or less is contained now is pure fiction. And weeks later, to the whole world will not be contained until all countries of the world have it contained.

    There are so many contraditory facts from China, that scientists and doctors support China’s epidemic is not contained.

    The US has the best doctors, hospitals, nurses, medical knowledge known and look at our situation. Full blown epidemic and getting worse.

    A third of China are poor farmers without power, no medical treatment and barely enough to eat. Do you actually believe that their infections and deaths have been counted?

    Why does every country bordering China have the epidemic? Because China deliberately hid their virus epidemic until it was exposed by Chinese doctors that understood how infectious and deadly this virus is to the world.

    If the US cannot contain this virus soon, there is no hope for poorer countries.

    Anyone foolish enough not to join in to protect themselves and others will become a statistic.

    Doctors and nurses are dying from this virus. Even With their medical knowledge they can’t avoid becoming
    a victim of this virus

    Read, think, be aware, understand, acknowledge, and practice being safe.

    We each hold the power to contain this virus or allow it to destroy us. Be smart and act responsible.

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