China has reported no new domestic cases of coronavirus for a second day in a row, but the number of imported infections has risen to 228.
Statistics show infected travellers to China have spread to ever more provinces, adding pressure on authorities to toughen entry rules and health protocols
For a 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.
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 them overseas students.
‘The number of imported cases in China has further increased, and so the pressure to be on guard has also increased,’ Wang Bin, an official of the National Health Commission, told a news conference in Beijing on Friday.
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 entry-points 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.
The commission did not say where the cases were believed to have originated, but provincial authorities said some of the travellers had been in Britain, Spain and the United States.