Coronavirus: Beijing sees drop in confirmed cases amid efforts to stem spread

Coronavirus: Beijing sees drop in confirmed cases amid efforts to stem spread
Virus Outbreak China

Beijing has reported a decline in newly confirmed cases of coronavirus as the city continued to press stricter measures to contain a new outbreak.

The Chinese capital reported 21 cases, down from 31 on Wednesday, and these were among 28 new cases recorded across the whole country.

The figure included four from Chinese travelers returning from outside the country and three in the city of Tianjin and Hebei province, both of which border Beijing.

No new deaths were reported, leaving the total number of fatalities at 4,634 amid 83,293 cases recorded since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The Chinese capital on Wednesday canceled more than 60% of commercial flights and raised the alert level amid a new coronavirus outbreak (Ng Han Guan/AP)

Some 265 people remain in treatment, with another 118 under observation in quarantine for being suspected of having the virus or after testing positive without showing any symptoms.

Beijing moved to suspend classes and restrict tourism and travel in and out of the city earlier this week to stem any further spread in the latest outbreak traced to the city’s largest wholesale market.

Flights at the city’s two major airports have also been cut by more than half, and the city’s top official said his administration is determined not to allow gains made in eradicating the virus to slip away because of further local transmissions.

A South Korean soldier wearing a face mask walks near banners showing precautions against the new coronavirus in Seoul (Lee Jin-Man/AP)

Meanwhile, South Korea reported 59 cases as infections continue to steadily rise in the greater capital area.

The figures announced by South Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday brought the national caseload to 12,257, including 280 deaths.

It said 39 of the new cases came from Seoul and its metropolitan area, where health authorities have been scrambling to stem transmissions amid increased economic activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

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