As new COVID-19 infections continued to rise in Hebei province surrounding Beijing, China on Monday saw its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in more than five months, the country’s national health authority said. Hebei accounted for 82 of the 85 new local infections reported on January 10, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement, with Liaoning Province also reporting two new cases and Beijing reporting one new case. The country also saw 18 new imported infections from overseas, reported Reuters. The total number of new COVID-19 cases stood at 103, the highest since 127 cases were reported on July 30.
Meanwhile, Langfang city which is located about 1.5-hours south of downtown Beijing and has a population of nearly 5 million, imposed a seven-day lockdown on Tuesday, CNBC reported. Langfang city is in Hebei province which also has the Shijiazhuang city. Shijiazhuang entered lockdown last week after a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Besides, the residents of Gu'an city just south of Beijing have also been ordered to stay home for seven days starting from Tuesday. Similar measures have been ordered around the country, particularly in the central city of Wuhan where 11 million people were placed under lockdown for 76 days last winter as the pandemic was just beginning.
This comes ahead of the World Health Organization (WHO) visit on January 14. A 10-member team of WHO experts assigned to probe the origins of COVID-19 will directly fly from Singapore to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December 2019.
"Current plan is that they will fly from Singapore to Wuhan on January 14," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing on Tuesday. He, however, said he has no details whether the experts would have to undergo quarantine and what is their itinerary and how long the team would stay in Wuhan.
(With PTI inputs)