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As China Covid-19 cases rise, millions more placed under lockdown

Wave of infections to put a damper on February's Lunar New Year holiday, when millions of people travel home

Coronavirus | China

Yew Lun Tian | Reuters  |  Beijing 

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

posted its biggest daily jump in Covid cases in more than five months on Wednesday, stepping up containment measures that have seen four cities put under lockdown, as the world’s second-biggest economy scrambles to head off a new wave of infections. Most of the new cases were reported near the capital, Beijing, but a province in the far northeast also saw a rise in infections, official data showed, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people put under home quarantine. While the Chinese city of Wuhan was the initial epicenter of the novel coronavirus, which emerged there in late 2019, had in recent months largely kept it at bay. On Wednesday, the National Health Commission reported a total of 115 new confirmed cases on the mainland, compared with 55 the previous day, the highest daily increase since July 30. It said 107 of the new cases were local infections. Hebei, the province that surrounds Beijing, accounted for 90 cases, while northeastern Heilongjiang province reported 16 new cases. The wave of infections is likely to put a damper on next month's Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of people typically travel to their home towns.

Far fewer are expected to hit the road this year, and many provinces have asked migrant workers to stay put during the break.

Two new strains of Covid detected: Ohio researchers Ohio researches said on Wednesday that they’ve discovered two new variants of the that likely originated in the US. Meanwhile, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved an order Tuesday expanding testing requirements for nearly all air travelers starting January 26, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters. Also, the Trump administration said on Tuesday it is releasing millions of vaccine doses it had been holding back for second shots and urged states to offer them to all Americans over age 65.

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First Published: Thu, January 14 2021. 01:50 IST