Mainland China reported a second consecutive day of no new local coronavirus cases as the country’s epicenter of the epidemic Hubei province opened its borders, but imported cases rose as Beijing ramped controls to prevent a resurgence of infections.
A total of 67 new cases were reported as of end-Wednesday, up from 47 a day earlier, all of which were imported, China’s National Health Commission said in a statement on Thursday.
The total number of cases now stands at 81,285.
The commission reported a total of 3,287 deaths at the end of Wednesday, up six from the previous day.
All of the new patients on Wednesday were travelers who came to China from overseas, with the mainland reporting no locally transmitted infections.
About 90% of all the imported cases are Chinese passport holders, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told a press conference on Thursday, adding that 40% of them are overseas Chinese students returning amid rising infections abroad.
“We understand some overseas students are eager to come home…But under the current circumstances, by staying put, they can avoid being cross-infected in the hurried journey home or getting stuck mid-journey when the countries they transit in tighten border controls,” Luo said.
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