In a significant development, China on Tuesday reported no new Coronavirus deaths for the first time since it started publishing figures in January, the National Health Commission said. Cases in mainland China have been dwindling since March, but the country faced a second wave of infections brought in from overseas, with health officials reporting nearly 1,000 imported cases in total.
China's health authorities on Monday reported 32 new cases nationwide, all of which were imported. Last week, China began disclosing the number of asymptomatic cases for the first time, after growing public concerns over the potential of “silent” carriers to spread the disease.
Fears have also been growing over a potential resurgence in the epicenter of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected late last year. After a number of asymptomatic cases were confirmed in the central Chinese city, local authorities revoked the “epidemic-free” status of 45 residential compounds on Monday.
China also stepped up border control measures on Monday as the number of imported Coronavirus cases rose sharply to 951 while the asymptomatic cases also surged, raising fears of a second wave of the COVID-19 infections, mainly from Chinese returning home from abroad despite drastic containment efforts. A health official in Beijing warned that the Chinese capital, Beijing, will probably remain under long-term Coronavirus epidemic control.
Currently, China has banned the entry of foreigners and is permitting only overseas Chinese returning home. Asymptomatic Coronavirus cases are those who test positive for the virus but do not show any symptoms and have the potential to cause sporadic clusters of infections.
To date, 81,740 people have been infected and 3,331 have been killed by the deadly virus in China, with the vast majority in Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province. Meanwhile, the global death toll from the pandemic has surpassed 70,000 as the virus ravages numerous countries in Europe and the U.S.
(with agencies input)