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First China virus cases in three weeks

Mainland China has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, including its first local transmissions in more than three weeks, authorities say.

Four of the cases were local infections in the eastern province of Anhui, all linked to the same case surnamed Li.

State media reported mass testing being carried out in two cities in the province, Luan and Hefei.

Two of the Anhui cases were reported by the National Health Commission on Friday, having been logged on Thursday.

They were the first local transmissions since April 20 when China recorded two in the southwestern province of Yunnan, where a city on the border with Myanmar reported a new cluster in late March.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said Li had travelled to Anhui on May 1 from Dalian, a port city in China’s northeastern Liaoning province.

The other National Health Commission case, surnamed Zhang, was in close contact with Li during a training class Li led in the city of Luan, Xinhua reported.

Anhui authorities later reported two further locally transmitted cases, both with links to Li.

None of the confirmed Anhui cases had been vaccinated, Xinhua cited a local health official as saying.

Two areas in Luan and one part of Feixi county were declared “medium-risk” in response to the cases.

Meanwhile, Liaoning’s provincial health authority reported three new infections, including two local ones, both in another port city, Yingkou.

The other five cases in mainland China, logged on Thursday and reported on Friday, were infections originating overseas.

The health commission had reported nine cases on Thursday, all imported.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 22 from 14 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China stood at 90,815 as of Thursday while the death toll remained unchanged at 4636.

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