Wuhan, the Chinese city that was ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic, is experiencing a cluster of new coronavirus cases for the first time in a month, health officials said.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported Monday that five new locally-transmitted infections were confirmed in the city, the capital of central China’s Hubei province, arising from a previously asymptomatic patient who then spread the virus to four others in her residential compound, according to the official state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The five new cases of COVID-19 were among a total of 17 new confirmed infections reported on the Chinese mainland over the past 24 hours. Seven of those cases were imported from abroad, according to China’s National Health Commission. There were no new deaths reported.
The fresh wave of infections hit just days after China downgraded the entire country from high- to low-risk for the novel coronavirus. Mi Feng, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission, told a press conference in Beijing last week that the decision was made as the number of new infections continues to hover just above zero and no new deaths have been reported for 22 consecutive days.
But the city of Shulan in northeast China’s Jilin province raised the risk level from medium to high after a new locally-transmitted case was reported Thursday. The National Health Commission said Monday that three new cases were reported in Jilin province.
On Sunday, the risk level of Wuhan’s Dongxihu district was also escalated from low to medium after a new locally-transmitted case was confirmed there over the weekend, according to Xinhua News Agency.
China was once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The first cases of infection were detected in Wuhan back in December. Since then, the Chinese mainland has reported 82,918 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,633 deaths. Currently, 141 people with the disease remain hospitalized, according to the National Health Commission.