On January 12, 2021, a medical worker collects a swab sample from a child at a community Covid-19 testing site in Qiaoxi District in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China’s Hebei Province. Shijiazhuang has started the second round of nucleic acid testing for all residents.
Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
BEIJING – Mainland China on Thursday reported the first new death from Covid-19 since May as authorities try to control a spike in cases just outside Beijing.
A woman from Hebei Province died on Wednesday afternoon, state media reported, noting that her illness was a serious case and that she had pre-existing health issues.
The province is surrounding Beijing and began reporting a rapid increase in coronavirus cases earlier this month. In less than two weeks, authorities locked down Shijiazhuang and other parts of Hebei Province in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading.
Hebei reported 81 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the current number of cases to 463. The northernmost province of Heilongjiang reported 43 new confirmed cases on Wednesday.
The National Health Commission recorded Wednesday’s death in its daily report on the local coronavirus situation, the first addition to the global toll since May 2020.
That brought the total number of coronavirus deaths in mainland China to 4,365 people. The first reported death from Covid-19 occurred on January 11, 2020 in the city of Wuhan, where the disease first appeared in late 2019.
A team from the World Health Organization arrived in Wuhan on Thursday to investigate the origins of the virus alongside Chinese scientists, state media said.
The Chinese government has pushed back the implications that Covid-19 originated in China. After the outbreak peaked in the country early last year, authorities attributed subsequent cases to foreign sources.