More than 380 people have tested positive in a growing COVID-19 outbreak south of Beijing in China’s Hebei province.
Hebei health authorities said that 40 new cases had been confirmed Sunday morning, bringing the total to 223. Another 161 people tested positive but showed no symptoms. China does not include such asymptomatic cases in its official tally.
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The outbreak has raised particular concern because Hebei borders the nation’s capital. Travel between the two has been restricted, with workers from Hebei having to show proof of employment in Beijing to enter the city.
Almost all the cases are in Shijuazhuang, the provincial capital, which is about 260 kilometers (160 miles) southwest of Beijing. A handful have also been found in Xingtai city, 110 kilometers (68 miles) farther south.
Both cities have conducted mass testing of millions of residents, suspended public transportation and taxis, and restricted residents to their communities or villages for one week.
Earlier Sunday, China’s National Health Commission reported that 69 new cases had been confirmed nationwide the previous day, most of them in Hebei. The others included 21 people who had arrived recently from overseas.
Beijing had one new case, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 32 in a smaller outbreak that surfaced about three weeks ago. Almost all the cases have been in Shunyi in the city’s northeastern suburbs.
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