No domestic transfers for second day in China

Local medical worker embraces and bids farewell to a medical worker from Jiangsu at the Wuhan Railway Station
A local medical worker embraces and bids farewell to a medical worker from Jiangsu at the Wuhan Railway Station as the medical team from Jiangsu leaves Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hubei province, China March 19, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

For the second day in a row, China found no domestically transmitted cases of the virus that emerged in its central province of Hubei late last year, according to new daily figures registered on Thursday.

China’s imported coronavirus cases have risen to a record 228, data showed on Friday, as infected travellers spread to ever more provinces, adding pressure on authorities to toughen entry rules and health protocols.

Fears of a second wave of infections are growing just as China brings its epidemic under control, with the spread of the virus in Europe and North America spurring a rush homewards by Chinese expatriates, many of the students.

Mainland China had 39 new imported infections on Thursday, the commission said. Fourteen of these were in the southern province of Guangdong, eight in the commercial hub of Shanghai and six in the capital, Beijing, it said in a statement.

The main entrypoints for infected travellers have been key transport hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, including the city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

A smattering of imported cases were also reported in the city of Tianjin and the provinces of Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Shandong and Gansu in the north, as well as in the provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian, Sichuan, and the region of Guangxi further south, taking China’s total imported infections to 228.

As concern grows over infected arrivals from overseas, the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea held a video conference on Friday to discuss cooperation to rein in the pandemic.

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