China has reported the highest number of new daily coronavirus cases in nearly six weeks sending a warning of a second wave of COVID-19 infection.
Of the 108 new cases reported on Monday, 98 were imported from returning Chinese nationals or by overseas visitors, according to Chinese authorities.
The new imported cases were up from 97 a day earlier. The number of asymptomatic cases – which Beijing does not count as a confirmed case – fell to 61 from 63 a day earlier.
There are now a total of 82,160 confirmed cases in mainland China.
The spike in cases has triggered fears that infected travellers could cause a second wave of the virus, just a week after the city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the virus – was reopened after 11 weeks in lockdown.
China has reported two new deaths, bringing the country’s toll to 3341. It also recorded 61 new asymptomatic cases
While the number of daily infections has dropped sharply from the height of the epidemic in February, China has seen the daily toll creep higher after hitting a trough on March 12 as the virus spread globally.
Beijing is concerned that infected people entering the country could trigger a second wave and push the country back into a state of near paralysis.
The northeast Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia, reported 56 new cases – 49 from Russia.
Chinese cities near the border with Russia said on Sunday they would tighten border controls and quarantine measures on arrivals.
The border city of Suifenhe and Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang, said they would require all arrivals from abroad to undergo 28 days of quarantine, as well as nucleic acid and antibody tests.
Harbin will also lock down residential units where confirmed and asymptomatic coronavirus cases are found for 14 days.