BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s northwestern province of Shaanxi reported on Saturday seven new imported cases of the novel coronavirus, all in citizens returning home from Russia, even as domestic cases in the country were largely curbed.
The port city of Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia also reported three new imported cases, without giving details.
China has instituted stringent checks at its ports and border points, banning the entry of foreign nationals on March 28, and even diverting international flights from its capital city Beijing.
Still it has faced a continuous trickle of cases brought in by Chinese citizens wanting to return home in spite of risks of getting infected. In recent days, many of these have come back from Russia.
The new cases in Shaanxi were all Chinese nationals who had returned on April 20 on a flight from Moscow that was diverted away from Beijing. As of Saturday, the flight had a confirmed total of 30 cases, and 8 asymptomatic infections, according to the provincial health commission.
No further details were given about the imported cases in Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia. The northern province announced Friday that it would start requiring all international arrivals to undergo a 28-day quarantine, as well as two tests for COVID-19 as well as an antibody test.
China reported 12 new coronavirus cases on April 24, compared with six new cases on the previous day, National Health Commission data showed on Saturday.
Of those, 11 were imported, compared with two the preivous day.
The commission also reported 29 new asymptomatic cases, slightly down from the previous day’s 34. Four of these cases were imported.
The total number of confirmed cases in China, where the virus first emerged in late December, is now 82,816. The death toll remained the same at 4,632, with no new deaths reported on April 24.
(Reporting by Huizhong Wu and Muyu Xu; Editing by Kim Coghill)