SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Mainland China reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 3, up from 24 cases a day earlier, the National Health Commission said on Monday.
In a statement, it said 20 of the new cases were imported infections originating overseas. The commission also reported 13 new locally transmitted cases: six in Liaoning province, four in Hebei province, two in Beijing and one in Heilongjiang province.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 40 from eight cases a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 87,150, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.
VIRUS FOUND ON AUTO PARTS PACKAGING
Chinese social media was abuzz on Monday after multiple Chinese cities said in the past few days that they found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of car components.
Most of the cities did not specify the manufacturer of the parts, but a district in Cangzhou city of northern Hebei province, said on Saturday that local authorities found coronavirus on one package of car component at a dealership that sells Daimler’s luxury Mercedes cars.
Daimler said in a statement last week that several employees at one of its car component logistics center in Beijing had tested positive for COVID-19, adding that it had carried out tests across the company and found no further cases.
Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told state television on Monday that these auto parts packages were not imported and they believed that they were unlikely to infect others.
China has largely brought its pandemic under control and has been conducting COVID-19 tests on items such as imported frozen food.
(Reporting by Jing Wang and Engen Tham, additional reporting by Yilei Sun; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Raissa Kasolowsky)