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China reports 54 new COVID-19 cases in mainland vs 75 a day earlier

·1-min read
People line up for nucleic acid testing in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China reported its lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in nearly three weeks on Thursday, suggesting aggressive countermeasures have helped slow a recent outbreak in the country's northeastern provinces.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the mainland fell to 54 on Jan. 27, the National Health Commission said in a statement, down from 75 a day earlier. It was the lowest single-day increase since 33 cases reported on Jan. 8.

The commission said 41 of the cases were locally transmitted infections. Northeastern Heilongjiang province reported 28 new cases, while neighboring Jilin reported nine new cases. Hebei, the province that surrounds Beijing, saw the number of new patients fall to three.

Regional authorities have implemented measures including home quarantine, travel curbs and mass testing in response to new clusters that formed ahead of the key Lunar New Year holidays next month when hundreds of millions travel.

Officials have continued to discourage travel even as the number of new cases eases, seeking to stamp out the worst outbreak in China since March 2020.

The number of asymptomatic infections, which China does not classify as confirmed COVID-19 cases, fell to 28 from 61 a day earlier.

The total number of COVID-19 cases reported in mainland China now stands at 89,326, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom, writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Jane Wardell)