Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

China's new COVID-19 cases drop to fresh 3-week low

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People line up for nucleic acid testing at a makeshift testing site in a park following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on a polluted day in Daxing district of Beijing, China January 26, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

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SHANGHAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China reported the lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in three weeks, official data showed on Friday, as authorities in the regions hardest hit by the latest wave imposed robust curbs to contain the disease.

The total number of confirmed cases fell to 52 on Jan. 28 from 54 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement. This was the lowest single-day increase since 33 cases were reported on Jan. 8.

Out of the 36 locally transmitted infections, 21 were reported in the northeastern Heilongjiang province while the neighboring Jilin province reported 13 new ones. Beijing and Hebei province that surrounds the Chinese capital each reported one new case. The remaining 16 cases were overseas travellers.

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National and local authorities continue to discourage travel even as the number of new cases fell, underscoring their concerns about another flare-up as the country approaches the Lunar New Year holiday period next month when hundreds of millions typically travel. read more

Officials forecast about 1.15 billion trips this year during the holdiay break, down 20% from early 2020 when the epidemic started to spread from the inland Chinese city of Wuhan, and falling 60% from 2019.

Asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed COVID-19 cases, rose to 42 from 28 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 89,378, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

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Reporting by Jing Wang and Josh Horwitz; Writing by Se Young Lee Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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