BEIJING: China on Tuesday (Jul 20) reported the highest daily tally of new confirmed COVID-19 cases since January, driven by a surge in imported infections in southwestern Yunnan province, which shares a border with Myanmar.
Mainland China recorded 65 new confirmed cases for Jul 19, compared with 31 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement. That was the most since Jan 30, when 92 new cases were reported.
Imported infections accounted for most of the new cases reported for Jul 19, with Yunnan reporting 41 new cases originating from abroad, all of whom were Chinese nationals who recently returned from Myanmar.
The current bout of cases in Yunnan started on Jul 4, and has been concentrated in Ruili and Longchuan, two small cities on China's border with Myanmar, which has been hit by a sharp uptick in infections since June.
Ruili, battling its fourth outbreak since the pandemic started, reported seven new locally transmitted cases for Jul 19, while Longchuan had one.
Ruili is a key overland transit point for Yunnan, which has a 4,000km border with Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The Yunnan outbreak marks the second cluster of infections in China involving the highly contagious Delta strain, following an outbreak in southern Guangdong province in May through June.
For mainland China, 19 asymptomatic coronavirus cases were detected on Jul 19, compared to 17 a day earlier. China does not count asymptomatic infections as confirmed cases.
China's total of COVID-19 cases has now reached 92,342, with deaths unchanged at 4,636.