China reports no new coronavirus deaths for first time

Cases in mainland China have been dwindling since March, but it faces a second wave of infections from overseas.

People wearing protective suits is seen at a street market in Wuhan
People wearing protective suits are seen at a street market in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year [Aly Song/Reuters]

China reported no new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, for the first time since authorities began publishing figures in January.

Cases in mainland China have been dwindling since March, but the country faces a second wave of infections brought in from overseas, with health officials reporting nearly 1,000 imported cases in total.

The National Health Commission said there were 32 new cases nationwide at the end of Monday, all of which were imported.

There were also 30 new asymptomatic infections, health officials said, bringing the national total to 1,033. About a quarter of the current total of asymptomatic cases were also imported from overseas.

With mainland China well past the peak of infections in February, authorities have turned their attention to imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who show no symptoms but can still pass on the virus.

China closed its borders to foreigners as the virus spread globally, although most imported cases have involved Chinese nationals returning from overseas. International flights have been reduced to about 3,000 a day in April from the tens of thousands previously.

It also started testing all international arrivals for the virus this month.

Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province where the infection first emerged late last year, has reported only two new confirmed cases in the past 14 days.

It is due to allow people to leave the city on Wednesday for the first time since it was locked down on January 23 to curb the spread of the virus.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China stood at 81,740 as of Monday, while 3,331 people have died, according to the authority.

Source: News Agencies