China has reported its biggest daily jump in new COVID-19 cases in more than 10 months as infections in north eastern Heilongjiang province nearly tripled.
China also reported one new death of a woman in Hebei province, marking the first increase in the death toll since mid-May.
The woman suffered from pre-existing diseases and died on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Hebei Provincial Health Commission.
The National Health Commission said in a statement that 138 new COVID-19 cases were reported on January 13, up from 115 cases a day earlier.
This marked the highest jump since March 5.
The commission said 124 of the new cases were local infections, 81 of which were reported in Hebei province surrounding Beijing and 43 in north-eastern Heilongjiang province.
The recent daily increases in COVID-19 cases remain a small fraction of what the country saw at the height of the pandemic in early 2020.
But China is taking aggressive steps to curb the spread of the disease, putting more than 28 million people under home quarantine in January.
The new wave of infections comes ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of people typically travel to their hometowns.
COVID-19’s resurgence has already prompted some provinces to discourage travel, which could lead to reduced travel during the long break.
Heilongjiang’s health authority on Thursday encouraged its 37.5 million residents to spend the upcoming holidays within the province and refrain from unnecessary travel.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 78 from 38 a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 87,844, while the death toll rose by one to 4,635.