Fall in coronavirus cases in China amid fears over second surge

Coronavirus cases rise for China
Passengers wear protective face masks as they ride the subway in Hong Kong on Thursday as a protection against the virus

The number of new coronavirus cases in China has fallen, suggesting a recent spike appears to be on the wane.

A dozen new cases were reported on Wednesday, down from 22 on the previous day, while seven cases were found in the capital Beijing.

No new deaths were reported and 359 people remained in treatment for Covid-19, with another 118 in monitoring and isolation for testing positive for the virus while showing no symptoms or being suspected cases.

It comes as Australia recorded its first death from coronavirus for more than a month, increasing the country’s toll to 103.

China has reported 4,634 deaths from among 83,430 cases of Covid-19 since the virus was first detected in the city of Wuhan late last year.

Beijing’s June outbreak saw more than 200 cases, most linked to the city’s biggest wholesale market, and led to some new lockdowns and the cancellation of classes.

Since then, three million test samples have been taken from 2.43 million people in the city, a senior municipal health official said on Tuesday.

The city can now conduct more than 300,000 nucleic acid tests per day, compared with 40,000 in March, said Zhang Hua, deputy director of the Beijing Health Commission.

High-risk groups in the markets involved in the outbreak as well as surrounding communities were made a testing priority, along with workers in restaurants, supermarkets, food delivery workers and parcel couriers.

“It is very important for the early detection of infections, the timely isolation and treatment, the quick cutting off of spreading and the effective containment of the epidemic,” Mr Zhang said.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Australian state of Victoria said a man in his 80s had died with Covid-19, lifting the state’s total to 20.

The state recorded double-digit increase in cases for an eighth consecutive day, with 20 new cases confirmed on Wednesday.

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said 241 cases in the state have been identified as community transmission, an increase of eight since Tuesday.

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