BEIJING: China has reported an uptick in new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, reversing four straight days of declines, driven by infected individuals arriving from abroad.
China had 24 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday (Mar 11), up from 19 cases a day earlier.
Of the new infections, 10 were imported cases, bringing the overall cases from abroad to 79.
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Beijing's city government reported six new confirmed cases of the coronavirus involving individuals who came from Italy and the United States, Chinese state television said.
The report said five of the new patients, whose infections were confirmed on Tuesday by the government of the Chinese capital, travelled from Italy and one patient came from the United States. It was not specified whether the individuals were Chinese nationals or foreigners.
Shanghai had two such imported infections, while Shandong and Gansu provinces had one each.
New infections in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, continued to stabilise, with new cases declining for the sixth day.
In Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, just 13 new infections were reported on Tuesday.
The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 3,158 as of the end of Tuesday, up by 22 from the previous day.
Hubei accounted for all of the new deaths, including 19 fatalities in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
As China's efforts to control the spread of the pathogen at home start to payoff, Beijing is turning its focus on imported cases as the coronavirus expands its footprint across the globe.
President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made his first visit to Wuhan since the coronavirus outbreak forced a lockdown of the city of 11 million people.
A few cities in Hubei have started to loosen restrictions on movement of people and goods.
Hunan province and the municipality of Chongqing lowered their emergency response level as domestic infections eased across the country.
So far, 24 municipalities, regions and provinces have cut their emergency response level from the highest tier previously.
Taiwan too has begun reporting an uptick in imported cases. The government said on Wednesday the island's 48th case was a woman in her 30s who had returned from holiday in Britain and had most likely been infected there.
The number of US cases of the novel coronavirus surged to more than 900 on Tuesday, according to an AFP tally, after public health experts criticised authorities for downplaying the epidemic and lagging behind in testing efforts.
At least 23 people have died and 959 people have been infected in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
The rise is linked to an expansion in testing as the bulk of diagnoses have shifted from federal to state laboratories.
Italy has confirmed more than 10,000 cases of the disease. More than 630 people have died in the country, the largest figure outside China.
More than 114,000 people have been infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus globally and more than 4,000 have died since it emerged in China in December.