Authorities in Jilin province say superspreader is a 45-year-old man who has been touring the region giving lectures on health

Saturday’s new case total for whole of China is the first below 100 in five days

China reported 96 new

infections on Saturday and 119 asymptomatic cases, of which more than half were linked to a superspreader in the northeast of the country, health authorities said.

Jilin province, which borders

, reported 63 of the asymptomatic cases, all but one of them related to a 45-year-old tutor who had been touring the region giving lectures on health, the provincial health commission said on Saturday.

The man has now been linked to 102 cases in the province, the Jilin health commission said at a press conference on Sunday.

Contact tracing revealed that the unnamed man boarded trains in Harbin – the capital of Heilongjiang province – and Changchun, Tonghua and Gongzhuling in Jilin before being identified. He was first thought to be an asymptomatic carrier – which China does not include in its tally of infections – but was later confirmed as a case.

The National Health Commission (NHC) said on Saturday that the recent outbreaks in northeastern China were the result of imported cases and contaminated frozen and chilled foods, though it did not provide any evidence to support its claims.

“Since December 2020, epidemic clusters have occurred in Beijing, Sichuan, Liaoning, Hebei and Heilongjiang,” NHC chief Ma Xiaowei said in a statement.

“They mainly have the following characteristics: firstly, they are all imported from abroad, caused by travellers from overseas, or contaminated cold-chain imported items.”

Ma said also that the latest Covid-19 outbreak, which came after months of China thinking it had the disease under control – was spreading quickest in rural areas,

The number of confirmed cases reported for Saturday was the first under 100 in five days.

Since the latest outbreak began, the bulk of the new infections have been in north China’s Hebei province, with almost 700 cases and one death reported there since the start of the year.

With its proximity to Beijing and the

– when hundreds of millions of Chinese traditionally travel home for the festivities – just weeks away, the central government has been on high alert, urging people to stay home for the holiday.

The Hebei government said on Saturday that lockdowns in three cities at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak had been extended.

In the provincial capital Shijiazhuang and nearby Nangong, the lockdown would remain in place until Tuesday, while in Langfang, the restrictions would continue until Monday, it said.

A lockdown covering the rest of Xingtai, which administers Nangong, was lifted on Saturday, as were restrictions in Xinji, a county-level city under Shijiazhuang.

Meanwhile, Beijing said on Friday that all people returning to China from overseas should monitor their health for seven days after completing the mandatory 21 days’ quarantine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Amy Klobuchar withdraws from vice presidential consideration

Amy Klobuchar announced Thursday that she is taking herself out of consideration to be the vice president. The Minnesota senator instead told former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, to pick a woman of color as his running…

Putin signs bill on extending New START into law

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into a law a bill extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) until February 5, 2026, the Kremlin press service said in a statement published on its website. “The…

UK’s progress on social mobility ‘disappointing’, says watchdog

The Independent employs over 100 journalists around the world to bring you news you can trust. Please consider a contribution or subscription. Progress on social mobility in the UK has been “disappointing”, the government’s own watchdog has said, after only…

Deputy White House press secretary resigns amid fallout from contentious phone call with reporter

Deputy White House press secretary TJ Ducklo resigned Saturday amid fallout from a contentious phone call last month in which he berated and threatened a female reporter who was working on a story about a potential conflict of interest stemming…