China reported 45 new COVID-19 cases for Saturday, down from 54 the previous day, with all but one involving travelers from overseas, the country’s health authority said yesterday.
In the past seven days, China has reported 313 imported cases of the novel coronavirus, but only six confirmed cases of domestic transmission, Chinese National Health Commission data showed.
Most of those imported cases have involved Chinese returning home from abroad.
Airlines have been ordered to sharply cut international flights from yesterday, while restrictions on foreigners entering the country went into effect on Saturday.
Five more people died on Saturday, all of them in Wuhan, where the epidemic began in December last year.
However, Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, has reported only one new case in the past 10 days.
A total of 3,300 people have now died in China, with a reported 81,439 infections.
Saturday marked the fourth consecutive day that Hubei recorded no new confirmed cases.
With traffic restrictions in the province lifted, Wuhan is also gradually reopening borders and restarting some local transportation services.
All airports in Hubei resumed some domestic flights yesterday, with the exception of Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, which is to open to domestic flights on Wednesday next week.
Flights from Hubei to Beijing remain suspended.
A train arrived in Wuhan on Saturday for the first time since the city was placed in lockdown two months ago.
Greeting the train, Hubei Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Secretary Ying Yong (應勇) described Wuhan as “a city full of hope” and said its people’s heroism and hard work had “basically cut off transmission” of the virus.
Saturday’s sole case of domestically transmitted COVID-19 was recorded in Henan Province, bordering Hubei.
With the world’s second-biggest economy expected to shrink for the first time in four decades this quarter, China is set to unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus.
The CCP’s politburo on Friday called for a bigger budget deficit, the issuance of more local and national bonds, and steps to guide interest rates lower, delay loan repayments, reduce supply-chain bottlenecks and boost consumption.
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