China sees uptick in COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

Three northern provinces have seen the majority of the 2,016 cases reported in January

China uptick in cases

Visitors wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus take a smartphone photo of an ice-cream with a shaped of Qianmen Gate which bought at Qianmen Street, a popular tourist spot in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. A World Health Organization team looking into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday visited the seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan that was linked to many early infections. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING (AP) — China recorded more than 2,000 new domestic cases of COVID-19 in January, the highest monthly total since the tail end of the initial outbreak in Wuhan in March of last year.

The National Health Commission said Sunday that 2,016 cases were reported from Jan. 1-30. That does not include another 435 infected people who arrived from abroad. The tally for Jan. 31 is due to be released Monday.

Two people have died in January, the first reported COVID deaths in China in several months.

Most of the new cases have been in three northern provinces. Hardest-hit Hebei province, which borders Beijing, has reported more than 900 cases. Beijing, the Chinese capital, has itself had 45 cases this month.

The numbers, while low compared to many other countries, have prompted officials to tighten restrictions and strongly discourage people from traveling during the Lunar New Year, a major holiday when people typically return home for family reunions.

Train trips were down nearly 75 percent in the first three days of the holiday travel season, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday, citing the state railway company.

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