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China reports 33 new coronavirus cases

China reports 33 new coronavirus cases

A child wearing a mask to protect against the coronavirus feeds pigeons in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING: China reported 33 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Friday compared to 36 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Saturday (Nov 7).

All the new infections were imported, according to a statement published by the National Health Commission.

Earlier in the week, Beijing said it has banned foreign arrivals from France and a host of other countries amid efforts to close itself off from a world still battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The disease first emerged in central China late last year, but Beijing has largely brought its outbreak under control through tight travel restrictions and stringent health measures for anyone entering the country. 

READ: China bars arrivals from France over COVID-19 fears

READ: Europe COVID-19 deaths surge past 300,000

In March, as the virus ripped across the world, China shut its borders to all foreign nationals, although it had gradually eased the restrictions in recent months.

But in a sharp about-turn, Chinese embassies in countries including Britain, Belgium, India and the Philippines said this week that Beijing had decided to "temporarily suspend" entries by non-Chinese nationals.

France was among the latest to join that list, with a statement on the Chinese embassy website dated Thursday saying non-Chinese arrivals would be barred from entering the country.

Chinese embassies in Russia, Italy, Ethiopia and Nigeria also announced similar measures.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China slammed the move on Friday as a "serious body blow to business sentiment".

China reported 27 new asymptomatic patients, compared to 33 a day earlier.

As of Friday, mainland China had 86,184 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. 

The COVID-19 death toll stood at 4,634.

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Source: AFP/reuters/hs

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