Mainland China posts highest number of imported COVID cases in nearly 2 years

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A medical worker collects a swab sample from a person at a mobile nucleic acid testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), following the outbreak, in Beijing, China February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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BEIJING, Feb 25 (Reuters) - China on Friday reported the highest daily count of COVID-19 cases arriving from outside the mainland in nearly two years, with infections mostly from Hong Kong as the financial hub grapples with a wave of infections. read more

The mainland detected a total of 142 imported cases with confirmed symptoms for Thursday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Friday.

That marks the highest imported caseload since the authority began classifying domestically transmitted cases and infected travellers from outside the mainland separately, in March 2020.

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More than 100 imported cases came from Hong Kong, with 47 reported in the southern city of Shenzhen and 51 in the eastern municipality of Shanghai, local health authorities' bulletins showed. The capital Beijing also detected seven symptomatic cases arriving from Hong Kong.

Dozens of truck drivers who travel between Shenzhen and Hong Kong tested positive for the virus this month, data from the Shenzhen authority showed.

Shenzhen, which has suspended or terminated quarantine exemptions for 882 cross-border drivers who violated virus control rules, said it would have patrol and video cameras in place to prevent breaches by drivers.

Mainland China requires most general travellers arriving from outside to be quarantined for at least 14 days, and cities have varying requirements afterwards before they can travel freely.

For Thursday, the mainland also detected 87 asymptomatic carriers arriving from outside, which authorities count separately.

There were also 82 locally transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms on Thursday, the NHC data showed.

No new deaths were reported, leaving the death toll at 4,636.

As of Feb. 24, mainland China had reported a total of 108,604 cases with confirmed symptoms, including both local and imported ones.

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Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Stella Qiu, Albee Zhang and Ryan Woo Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Mark Potter

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