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China reports 1st local COVID-19 case after 3 days; Beijing to divert all international flights

Chinese Health Commission said that six deaths were reported from China on Saturday, including five from Hubei province, taking the country's death toll to 3,261

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 23, 2020  | 12:26 IST
China reports 1st local COVID-19 case after 3 days; Beijing to divert all international flights
For the Chinese mainland, the total number of imported coronavirus cases has reached 314

China will redirect all arriving international flights from its capital Beijing to 12 other cities from Monday to control the surge of imported coronavirus cases as the country reported its first domestically transmitted COVID-19 case after a gap of three days, officials said on Sunday.

The country's National Health Commission (NHC) said that 46 new confirmed cases were reported on the mainland on Saturday, including one domestic infection transmitted by imported cases in Guangzhou.

The NHC said Sunday six deaths were reported from China on Saturday, including five from Hubei province, taking the country's death toll to 3,261.

Coronavirus epicentre Wuhan, however, has not reported any new case for the fourth consecutive day, the health officials said.

The overall confirmed cases on the mainland reached 81,054 by the end of Saturday, including 3,261 people who died of the disease, 5,549 patients still being treated and 72,244 patients discharged after recovery.

As the country saw a surge in imported infections with 45 new cases, China initiated stricter measures to prevent COVID-19 from resurfacing and creating a second wave of infections, the health officials said.

On Sunday, the government announced that all international flights scheduled to arrive in its capital Beijing will be redirected to airports in 12 other Chinese cities from Monday.

International passengers flying to Beijing will instead land in airports in 12 cities including Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanjing and Shenyang as their first points of entry, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a statement.

Passengers will go through customs clearance and quarantine at these airports, and those having passed quarantine inspection can fly to Beijing in their original flights, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing reported 13 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) imported from other countries on Saturday, bringing the total number of imported cases in the capital to 97. For the Chinese mainland, the total number of imported cases has reached 314.

The entry arrangements for the Beijing-bound international flights will be adjusted in a timely manner in accordance with the COVID-19 outbreak situation, the statement said.

By the end of Saturday, 273 confirmed cases, including four deaths, were reported in Hong Kong, 18 confirmed cases in Macao and 153 in Taiwan, including two deaths, the NHC added.

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