New imported coronavirus cases hit a record of 21 in the Chinese capital of Beijing, data confirmed Thursday, piling stress on authorities to screen out infected travelers and isolate suspected cases.
However, there had been no new domestic transmissions for the first day since COVID-19 took hold late in December in Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei.
China’s latest efforts to fight the pandemic have more and more focused on inbound travelers, as the virus unfolds rapidly worldwide, elevating the prospect of a second wave of infections from overseas.
On Wednesday, Beijing booked 21 new cases from overseas, mostly in travelers from Britain and Spain, for the majority of the mainland’s 34 new imported cases.
Since last week, the capital’s airport has set aside a special zone for worldwide flights, with health checks required for all disembarking passengers. Non-transit travelers are sent to designated sites for an obligatory 14-day quarantine.
Beijing has halted self-quarantine for overseas arrivals, even when the person has a spot to stay alone in quarantine, which had been allowed earlier, state media stated Thursday.
Some international flights to Beijing flown by Chinese carriers will be diverted to nearby cities resembling Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan and Hohhot.