BEIJING (AP) – Authorities in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao on Tuesday said they had carried out coronavirus tests on more than 3 million people following the first reported local outbreak in the country in almost two months.
The city’s health department said no new cases have been found among the more than 1.1 million test results returned so far. The city said it had a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms and six without, since the new outbreak was first spotted over the weekend in a hospital.
However, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday that at least six new cases of the virus had been discovered in Qingdao in the past 24 hours.
The reason for the deviation was not immediately clear. China’s methods of recording and reporting virus numbers have been questioned since the pandemic began late last year in its city of Wuhan.
Authorities in Qingdao said they plan to test the city’s 9 million people by the end of the week, similar to previous campaigns of mass testing in other cities where outbreaks have been reported. detected. The tests began with “close contact, close contact of those close contacts and more casual contact,” gradually spreading to all parts of the city, the health department said.
Qingdao is a major commercial port and industrial center known for electronics and the country’s most famous brewery, as well as the headquarters of the Nordic Chinese Navy Fleet.
Figures from the National Health Commission released on Tuesday showed a total of 30 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours across the country. He divided those numbers into 13 cases in which people had symptoms and 17 cases in which they had no symptoms. The total number of locally transmitted cases, with and without symptoms, was 11, while the rest were listed as imported.
China has reported a total of 4,634 coronavirus deaths out of 85,591 cases. He did not provide a running total of asymptomatic cases, which number in the thousands.
The last reported local outbreak in China occurred in the northwestern city of Urumqi in far western Xinjiang, with all cases since being found among those arriving from outside China.
China has relaxed mask and social distancing requirements following the drop in the number of cases, but has maintained robust tests as it seeks to return the economy to full functioning.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
– Around 100 members of a Hong Kong orchestra are quarantined after one of its members tests positive for the coronavirus. A bass clarinet player from the Hong Kong Philharmonic has been infected, according to a Facebook post from fellow orchestra member Andrew Simon. Simon, the orchestra’s lead clarinetist, said he would be taken to a government quarantine camp for two weeks. All orchestra members must be quarantined to contain any risk to other performers and members of the public, the South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified government official. The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra kicked off their new season of performances last Friday with a sold-out concert socially left behind due to coronavirus restrictions. Hong Kong reported eight new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday. It has confirmed 5,202 infections, including 105 deaths.
– India reported its smallest daily increase in new coronavirus cases since mid-August, registering 55,342 in the past 24 hours. Health Ministry figures released on Tuesday brought India’s confirmed total to more than 7.17 million since the start of the pandemic. The ministry also reported 706 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 109,856. India still has the highest number of new daily cases in the world, but has seen a steady decline since early September , while it recorded more than 90,000 new cases every day.
– South Korea has reported 102 new cases of coronavirus, its first daily increase of more than 100 in six days. The rise is cause for concern as officials lowered social distancing restrictions this week after concluding that the viral spread was slowing after peaking in mid-August. Figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought national totals since the start of the pandemic to 24,805 infections and 434 deaths. Fifty-eight of the new cases were reported in the Seoul metropolitan area, while 33 were linked to international arrivals.
– Taiwan says it has diagnosed coronavirus in a Taiwanese citizen returning from China for the first time since February. The patient told quarantine officials to have a runny nose and a cough upon arriving in Taiwan on Sunday, central command center spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang said on Tuesday. Chuang said the man worked in eastern Jiangsu Province, which China’s National Health Commission said has not reported any recent cases of local transmission of the virus. He said Taiwan’s last case of a person bringing the virus from China was on February 6. Taiwan has taken strong action to stop the spread of COVID-19 but has since relaxed many to allow schools and businesses to reopen. The island has reported 530 cases, the vast majority of them from outside, with seven deaths and 34 people currently in treatment. China, where the pandemic is believed to have originated, reported its first cases of local transmission in months over the weekend – 12 people in the northern port city of Qingdao.
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak