Asia Today: 19 new cases in China amid mass testing

China has reported 19 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus amid mass testing in Beijing, where a recent outbreak appears to have been brought under control

China reported 19 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday amid mass testing in Beijing, where a recent outbreak appears to have been brought under control.

Of the new cases, 13 were reported in Beijing and one in the neighboring province of Hebei. Five others were brought by Chinese travelers from overseas, according to the National Health Commission. No new deaths were reported and 382 people remained in treatment for COVID-19, with another 110 in isolation.

China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from among 83,4449 cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Case numbers both nationally and in Beijing were up by single digits from Wednesday but there was no sign of any further spread.

This month’s outbreak in Beijing saw 249 people infected, most of them with links to the city’s biggest wholesale market, leading authorities to lock down some communities and cancel classes. Since then, 3 million test samples have been taken from 2.43 million people in the city.

In other developments around the Asia-Pacific region:

— South Korea has reported 28 additional cases of the coronavirus, as the country is struggling to suppress a resurgence of the virus, mostly around the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area. The figures bring the country’s total to 12,563 cases with 282 deaths. Nearly 11,000 people have recovered while 1,307 are still quarantined. South Korea has seen an uptick in new infections since it eased strict social distancing rules. But the daily increases haven’t reached a level of hundreds of cases that were reported between late February and early March. Most of the recent cases have been associated with nightlife establishments, church gatherings, a huge e-commerce warehouse and door-to-door sellers.

— Australian health workers plan to go door-to-door to test more than 100,000 residents in a coronavirus hot spot in suburban Melbourne that is threatening to undo the nation’s success in battling the virus. Victoria state on Thursday reported 33 new cases, the highest daily number in more than two months. Premier Daniel Andrews said the testing aims to collect samples from half of all residents in 10 suburbs. He said the goal was to test 10,000 residents each day over 10 days. The tests are free and Andrews urged residents to agree to take them as a civic duty. More than 1,000 military personnel are deploying to Victoria to help with the operation, while other states will help process the test results. Australia has reported more than 7,500 confirmed cases of the virus, including 104 deaths.


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