China reports increase in COVID-19 cases and 1 more death

BEIJING: Mainland China reported 39 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday (Apr 5), all but one of them imported from abroad, taking its total number of infections to 81,708.

Only one new death was recorded on April 5, taking China's total number of fatalities to 3,331, the new data showed.

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The number of cases on Sunday is an increase from the 30 reported a day earlier.

Though daily infections have fallen dramatically from the height of the epidemic in February, when hundreds of new cases were reported daily, Beijing remains unable to completely halt new infections despite imposing some of the most drastic measures to curb the virus' spread.

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The so-called imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who have the virus and can give it to others but show no symptoms, have become among China's chief concerns in recent weeks. The country has closed off its borders to almost all foreigners as the virus spread globally, though most of the imported cases involve Chinese nationals returning from overseas.

The central government also has pushed local authorities to identify and isolate the asymptomatic patients.

The National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of the day on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.

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China on Saturday mourned the thousands of "martyrs" who died in the coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half-mast throughout the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.

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