China logs ninth consecutive day with no locally transmitted COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk down steps near a subway station, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Beijing, China August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China reported its ninth consecutive day with no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, as a major university in the city of Wuhan opened for face-to-face classes on Tuesday for the first time in eight months.

The daily update from national health officials, which provided data for Monday, showed the recent streak without any new locally transmitted cases stretched into another day.

There were 14 new imported cases, involving travellers returning from overseas, down from 16 the previous day. There were also 16 new asymptomatic cases - patients who are infected with the coronavirus but not exhibiting any symptoms - compared with 27 a day earlier.

In the central city where the virus was first detected, Wuhan University opened its doors to more than 9,100 students on Monday.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that the university had been deep cleaned and disinfected. Students returning for on-site lectures would receive temperature checks and be required to wear a mask in the library, the agency added.

Wuhan, which reported the first death from the novel coronavirus in early January, has received widespread attention for the speed at which life is returning to normal after months of robust restrictions and widespread virus testing.

Chinese state newspapers last week threw their support behind an amusement park in the city after pictures of a densely packed pool party went viral overseas amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The media reports said the party reflected the city’s success in its virus control efforts.

China’s total number of confirmed cases stands at 84,981, including 4,634 deaths.

Reporting by Engen Tham and Wang Jing in Shanghai; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jane Wardell