New Delhi: China recorded its first Covid-19 death since April, as cases continue to surge in its North China province. The country reported 124 new coronavirus cases Thursday, including 81 in Hubei province, just outside Beijing and 43 in Heilongjiang, the National Health Commission said.
Another 78 asymptomatic cases were reported, including three from outside the country. The Hubei province has seen the most serious recent outbreak in China.
No details were given by health authorities about the latest death, except that it occurred in Hubei province, where the government has placed several cities under lockdown.
This comes as a 10-member World Health Organization (WHO) team arrived in Wuhan to probe the origins of Covid-19. It’s also close to the anniversary of the 76-day-long Wuhan lockdown, which began on 23 January 2020.
Due to the increase in spread of infection, northeastern Heilongjiang declared an “emergency state” Wednesday, telling its 37.5 million residents not to leave the province unless absolutely necessary and cancelled public gatherings.
Lockdown has been imposed on Hebei’s provincial capital Shijiazhuang along with the cities of Xingtai and Langfang. A political conference in Hubei has been postponed. Officials have asked residents of the city of Gu’an near Beijing to stay home for a week starting Tuesday. Hebei has also reportedly delayed the meetings of the provincial People’s Congress and its advisory body that are usually held in February.
No deaths had been reported in mainland China since April last year. The official death toll now stands at 4,635.