Getting to zero new infections hard with imported cases

Though the novel coronavirus outbreak has eased its grip in China, the influx of infections from abroad has made it increasingly hard for authorities to reduce the overall number of new infections to zero, the statistics from the National Health Commission show.

A total of 13 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 11 deaths were reported on Tuesday on the Chinese mainland, bringing the two numbers up to 80,894 and 3,237 respectively, the commission said on Wednesday morning.

Of the new cases, 12 involved infected travelers arriving in China from abroad. In contrast, the Chinese mainland only saw one case of a locally transmitted infection on Tuesday, in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, it said.

The number of infections imported from other countries surpassed local transmissions for a fifth day, according to the data.

Beijing accounted for three of the imported new cases, and the financial hub of Shanghai had three. South China’s Guangdong and Southwest China’s Sichuan provinces also reported new infections from abroad, with five and one respectively.

By the end of Tuesday, a total of 155 imported cases of novel coronavirus infections had been reported, said the commission.

All of the new fatalities occurred in Hubei province, it said, adding that with another 21 new suspected cases reported Tuesday, a total of 119 people are still suspected of being infected with the virus.

Also on Tuesday, 922 people were discharged from hospitals after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 208 to 2,622. A total of 69,601 people had been discharged from hospitals after recovery as of Tuesday midnight.

Health authorities on the mainland have traced 682,327 people with close contact with patients, adding that among them, 1,014 were discharged from medical observation Tuesday, with 9,222 others still under medical observation.

By the end of Tuesday, 167 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in Hong Kong, 13 confirmed cases in the Macao, and 77 in Taiwan including one death. And 92 patients in Hong Kong, 10 in Macao and 22 in Taiwan had been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

Hubei province, the epicenter, continued to see single-case growth of the new daily infections, along with 11 new deaths on Tuesday. The latest report brought the number of total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 67,800 and total deaths to 3,122.

The province also saw 896 patients discharged from hospitals after recovery on Tuesday, bringing the total number of discharged patients in the province to 56,883 it said, adding that Hubei had zero suspected cases as of Tuesday midnight.