Passengers wearing masks walk outside the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China
Passengers wearing masks walk outside the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China (Representational image) | Reuters via ANI File photo
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Beijing: China has reported 63 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, including 61 imported ones, raising concern of a second wave of infections as the country on Wednesday lifted the 76-day lockdown of Wuhan, the origin point and epicentre for the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials said on Thursday.

The Chinese health authority said on Thursday that two deaths were also reported taking the total death toll in the country to 3,335. The overall coronavirus cases have reached 81,865 in the country.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday it received reports of 63 new confirmed coronavirus cases on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday, of which 61 were imported, taking the total tally to 1,104.

After nearly three months of grim battle against the coronavirus since January, China is fast returning to normalcy with factories and business humming back to activity amid concerns of a rebound due to steady rise of new infections especially coming from thousands of Chinese returning from abroad.

The 76-day lockdown of Wuhan was lifted by the authorities on Wednesday. Tens of thousands of people in Wuhan, the origin point and epicentre for the coronavirus pandemic, began travelling out of the sprawling city.

However, two new domestic cases were reported in Guangdong Province.

Also read: China’s blunders in Wuhan should settle the debate about democracy and economic progress

Also on Wednesday, 56 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, including 28 from abroad, were reported on the mainland taking their total to 1,104. Many of them were put under quarantine.

Asymptomatic coronavirus cases are those who test positive for the virus but do not show any symptoms and have the potential to cause sporadic clusters of infections.

As of Wednesday, the Chinese mainland had reported a total of 1,103 imported cases. Of the cases, 374 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 729 were being treated with 31 in severe condition, NHC said.

It said 73 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

Hubei province and its capital Wuhan from where the virus was first surfaced in December last year, reported two new deaths on Wednesday with no cases.

Wednesday was also a landmark day for Wuhan as ten of thousands of people of the 11 million city travelled by road, air and trains for the first time after Jan 23 lockdown as the government has lifted all cubs.

By Wednesday, 960 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in Hong Kong, 45 confirmed cases in the Macao and 379 in Taiwan including five deaths, state run Xinhua news agency reported.

The virus, which first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, has since spread around the world infecting more than 1.4 million people, killing more than 82,000.

Also read: Smoking makes it easier for coronavirus to get into lung cells, study finds


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