China has reported 130 new coronavirus cases in the mainland as authorities continue to battle a severe outbreak in the northeast that has put more than 28 million people under lockdown.
That figure for for January 15 was down from 135 cases a day earlier, the China's National Health Commission said on Saturday. Of those cases, 115 were local infections, 90 of which were in Hebei province surrounding Beijing that has been hit hardest in the latest wave.
Another 23 cases were found in northeastern Heilongjiang province while two cases were reported in Beijing.
Total case numbers remain well below what China saw at the height of the outbreak in early 2020 but concerns about a new country-wide wave are growing, with a major national holiday a month away and estimates of 296 million railway passenger trips during the Lunar New Year break.
This surge comes as a World Health Organisation-led (WHO) team of investigators are in quarantine in the city of Wuhan, where the disease emerged in late 2019. The team aims to investigate the origins of the pandemic that has now killed nearly two million people worldwide.
Authorities in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, which already imposed a lockdown, said late on Friday that they had completed two rounds of testing for COVID-19 and had tested more than 10 million people, finding 247 positive cases in the process. Of these, 217 were in the city's Gaocheng district.
The health commission also on Saturday reported 79 new asymptomatic patients, who it does not classify as confirmed cases, were found on January 15 compared with 66 a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 88,118, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4635.
Australian Associated Press