China reports no new coronavirus cases for first time since pandemic began

Volunteers measure the body temperature of a man in Jilin

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China recorded no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland for May 22, the first time it had seen no daily rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

The National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Saturday that this compared to four new cases on the previous day. It said, however, there were two new suspected cases: an imported one in Shanghai and locally transmitted case in the northeastern province of Jilin.

New asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus fell to 28 from 35 a day earlier, the NHC said.

China has seen a sharp fall in locally transmitted cases since March as major restrictions on people movement helped it to take control of the epidemic in many parts of the country.

However, it has continued to see an influx of imported cases, mainly involving Chinese nationals returning from abroad, while new clusters of infections in the northeastern border provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang have emerged in recent weeks.

Wuhan also reported this month its first cluster of infections since a lockdown on the city ended on April 8, prompting authorities to warn that counter-epidemic measures could not be relaxed and to launch a campaign to test all of Wuhan's 11 million residents for COVID-19.

The number of confirmed cases in the mainland stood at 82,971 and the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.


(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Muralikumar Anantharaman)