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China reports fewer coronavirus cases but infections from Russia a worry

China reported 46 new confirmed cases on Tuesday compared with 89 cases a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission. Of the new cases, 36 involved travellers arriving in China from overseas, compared with 86 a day earlier.

The 10 remaining cases were new locally transmitted infections, with Heilongjiang province accounting for eight of them and southern Guangdong province two.

The northeastern province of Heilongjiang has become a front line in China’s fight to keep out imported cases as infected Chinese nationals return overland from Russia.

China has closed the border with Russia at Suifenhe, a city in Heilongjiang with a checkpoint into Russia.

New infections involving travellers arriving from Russia have also hit other parts of China such as the northern autonomous region of Inner Mongolia and the financial hub of Shanghai.

Some of the new confirmed cases had been asymptomatic. Two of the latest confirmed Heilongjiang cases on Tuesday were patients who showed no symptoms of the virus previously.

Heilongjiang reported one new asymptomatic case on Tuesday, a Chinese national returning from Russia. That brings the current number of asymptomatic cases in the province involving travellers arriving from abroad to 52.

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