BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported a fall in new COVID-19 infections as the number of cases in two of the provinces particularly hard hit by the latest coronavirus wave fell to single digits, official data showed on Tuesday.
A total of 82 confirmed cases were reported in the mainland on Jan. 25, the National Health Commission said in a statement, down from 124 cases a day earlier.
The Heilongjiang province reported 53 of the new cases. But Jilin and Hebei – two other northeastern Chinese provinces which have seen cases surge in recent weeks – reported seven and five new cases, respectively.
Authorities in China have rolled out an aggressive package of countermeasures including home quarantines, travel curbs and mass testing this month in a bid to contain what has been the worst COVID-19 wave in the country since March 2020.
The outbreak also comes ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday break when hundreds of millions travel, adding to authorities’ sense of urgency.
Most of the new cases during the current wave have been found in Jilin, Heilongjiang and Hebei, which surrounds Beijing. All three provinces have rolled out some of the most stringent measures to date in China as a result. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not count in its tally of confirmed cases, rose to 57 from 45 cases a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 89,197. The death toll rose by one to 4,636, marking the first increase since Jan. 13.
(Reporting by Colin Qian in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)