Coronavirus: China reports highest infection count in weeks
China on Sunday reported 108 new cases, its highest number in weeks - almost all were imported.
Imported cases have been China’s focus for several weeks now. It believes the main threat now is people bringing the virus back to the country.
Most of these people are Chinese returning home.
The arc of China’s efforts to tackle, contain and end the outbreak went like this: local officials knew about an emerging outbreak but didn’t act; the national government imposed a draconian lockdown of Wuhan; China imposed domestic travel restrictions but insisted that international travel to and from China should not be cut; the virus spread abroad; China believed it had successfully contained the outbreak then switched its focus to people bringing it back here from abroad.
Something like a cat and mouse chase has emerged - despite drastically reducing international flights into China, barring any direct arrivals into Beijing and insisting that passengers now undergo strict quarantine, people found a weak point.
The usually obscure land crossing between Russia and China in the northern province of Heilongjiang has seen a persistent cluster of travellers bringing the virus with them.
New ‘imported’ cases there are almost all Chinese coming home. And they appear to be spreading it.