Imported virus cases drop in China

China is encouraging airlines to keep international flights running by offering cash subsidies.
China is encouraging airlines to keep international flights running by offering cash subsidies.

Mainland China has reported a drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases as imported infections fell and no locally transmitted infections were reported, including in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak in China.

China is ramping up quarantine and screening rules for all international arrivals due to the risks from imported cases.

Quanzhou city in Fujian province will cancel all international and regional flights, starting March 26, after four imported cases from the Philippines were found on Tuesday.

The Quanzhou Jinjiang international airport will cancel 17 routes including those connecting Manila, Hong Kong, and Macau, the Fujian government said in a notice.

China's capital city Beijing has already diverted flights to other cities where passengers will be screened and quarantined.

China has encouraged airlines to keep international flights running by offering cash subsidies.

The number of new coronavirus cases totalled 47 on Tuesday, all of which were from travellers returning home, down from 78 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday.

New imported cases in Beijing, Guangdong and Fujian declined, though the daily tally of new imported infections rose to a record 19 cases in the financial hub of Shanghai.

New cases of infected international arrivals were also reported in Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Jilin, Zhejiang, Shandong, and Shaanxi.

In Hubei province, no new infections were reported despite three new deaths - two of those in Wuhan city, where the virus first appeared late last year.

On Wednesday, local authorities downgraded Wuhan's epidemic risk level from "high" to "medium".

The Hubei Health Commission has announced it would lift curbs on outgoing travellers starting March 25, provided they had a health clearance code.

The provincial capital Wuhan, which has been in total lockdown since January 23, will have its travel restrictions lifted on April 8.

The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 81,218, with 474 imported infections.

The death toll in mainland China reached 3281 as of the end of Tuesday, up by four from the previous day.

Australian Associated Press