China sees daily new COVID-19 cases drop to lowest in more than a month

People wearing face masks walk on a street following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported the fewest number of new COVID-19 cases for a single day in more than a month, official data showed on Wednesday, the latest indication that the current wave of the disease is subsiding ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday break.

A total of 25 cases were reported in the mainland on Feb. 2, the National Health Commission said in a statement, down from 30 case a day earlier and the lowest since 24 cases were reported on Jan. 2.

The commission said 15 of the new cases were locally transmitted infections, with northeastern Jilin province reporting eight new cases and the neighbouring Heilongjiang province reporting six. Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing and was once the part of the country hit hardest by the worst COVID-19 outbreak since March 2020, reported one new case.

Authorities in the worst-hit regions implemented strict measures including lockdowns, travel curbs and mass testing in a bid to contain the disease from spreading further during the Lunar New Year break, starting this year on Feb. 11, when hundreds of millions typically travel.

Regional and national governments continue to discourage people from taking trips during the break, and the number of travellers during the period is expected to be down sharply amid heightened precautions.

New asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 12 cases from 15 a day earlier.

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in mainland China now stands at 89,619, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell)

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