Chinese mainland reports 107 new locally transmitted Covid cases

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The total number of confirmed cases reported in mainland China stands at 87,591, with an official death toll of 4,634.

Chinese health experts warned that the coronavirus spreading in China appears to be more infectious and transmissible, and asymptomatic infections, especially silent infections in villages, has become a new and big challenge for China, judging from the ongoing Shijiazhuang outbreak and previous outbreak in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Of the confirmed cases, 304 were reported in the provincial capital Shijiazhuang, 21 in the city of Xingtai, and one in the city of Langfang, Xu said at a press briefing.

Shijiazhuang will begin a second round of nucleic acid testing Wednesday, which is scheduled to finish in two days.

Suihua city in Heilongjiang province - home to over 5.2 million - was sealed off on Monday after the city reported one confirmed case and 45 asymptomatic cases.

Nevertheless, Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, and which is in the same region as Wuhan, where the disease first emerged, accounted for 40 of the 42 locally transmitted infections, with the capital and northeastern Heilongjiang province reporting one local case each.

"The central government is encouraging people to stay put during the Lunar New Year holiday that officially falls in mid-February this year", CNBC reported.

CNBC noted on Tuesday that China's "spike" of coronavirus cases, and the rapidly growing states of emergency declared in several provinces, coincide with the arrival of the World Health Organization's (W.H.O.) coronavirus investigation team. Residents and vehicles are banned from entering or leaving the area unless it's for emergency.

Passengers scan a heath QR code at the exit of Harbin Railway Station, Harbin City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, January 12, 2021.

A steady trickle of new coronavirus cases has surfaced in China's northern provinces since October, prompting strict restrictions despite the number of infections being small compared to outbreaks in many other countries. Additionally, large gatherings like weddings, funerals, sports events, and concerts in the province are suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the coming Lunar New Year.

Tieli, a city of about 300,000 people that borders Suihua, said on Wednesday it will not allow any people or vehicles to leave for three days as part of new COVID-19 prevention measurs.

Shanxi province has also limited internal travel and rolled out mass testing, after a patient from neighbouring Hebei province was reported to have travelled there.

And Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged in late 2019, on Monday launched contact tracing work because two confirmed COVID-19 patients reported in Hebei province had been to the city.

A Beijing education spokesperson announced that all schools except colleges should end the semester by the end of January and take their winter break.

State TV did not say how many COVID cases were reported in the county, but authorities in Beijing's Xicheng district said on Tuesday that a Guan county resident who works at a building in the district has been diagonosed with COVID-19.

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