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Beijing steps up COVID-19 curbs amid China's worst outbreak in 10 months

Beijing steps up COVID-19 curbs amid China's worst outbreak in 10 months

People wearing protective face masks walk along Nanluoguxiang alley, in Beijing, China, Jan 16, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Tingshu Wang)

BEIJING: China's capital Beijing said on Wednesday (Jan 20) it will investigate all individuals who entered the city from abroad from Dec 10 and shut down a subway station after reporting the biggest daily jump in new COVID-19 cases in more than three weeks.

The measures come amid what has become the country's most severe COVID-19 outbreak since March 2020 ahead of the key Chinese New Year holiday season, when hundreds of millions travel, raising fears of another major COVID-19 wave that could bring the country back into a debilitating standstill.

The National Health Commission said in a separate statement on Wednesday that a total of 103 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, down from 118 a day earlier.

Northeastern Jilin province reported 46 new cases, however, setting another record in daily cases, while Hebei province surrounding Beijing reported 19 new cases.

READ: China locks down another 3 million after travelling salesman spreads coronavirus

Beijing reported seven new cases, matching the total reported on Dec 28. Of these new patients, six patients live in Daxing district and the city's subway operator said it shut down the Tiangong Yuan metro station located near the Daxing patients as part of COVID-19 prevention measures.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 58 from 91 cases a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 88,557, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,635.

The figures exclude cases reported in Hong Kong and Macau, which are Chinese territories but independently report their data. The commission also excludes cases reported in Taiwan, the island that China claims as its own.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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