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China reports first Covid death in more than six months when WHO investigators arrive



A medical worker collects a cotton swab sample from a child at a Covid-19 test site in Qiaoxi District, Shijiazhuang District, the capital of northern China’s Hebei Province on January 12, 2021. Shijiazhuang has launched a second round of nucleic acid testing for all residents.

Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

BEIJING ̵

1; China on Thursday reported the first new Covid-19 death since May as authorities try to control an increase in cases just outside Beijing.

A woman in Hebei Province died on Wednesday afternoon, state media reported, noting that her illness was a serious matter and that she had pre-existing health conditions.

The province surrounds Beijing and began reporting a rapid rise in coronavirus cases earlier this month. In less than two weeks, authorities have locked Shijiazhuang and other parts of Hebei Province in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading.

Hebei reported 81 new cases of coronavirus by Wednesday, bringing the number of current cases to 463. The northernmost province of Heilongjiang reported 43 new confirmed cases by Wednesday.

The National Health Commission recorded Wednesday’s death in its daily report on the local coronavirus situation, the first addition to the total toll since May 2020.

It brought the total Chinese coronavirus deaths to 4,365 people. The first reported death from Covid-19 was on January 11, 2020 in the city of Wuhan, where the disease only occurred in late 2019.

A team from the World Health Organization arrived in Wuhan on Thursday to investigate the origin of the virus along with Chinese researchers, according to state media.

The Chinese government has pushed back against the implications that Covid-19 came from China. Following the peak of the outbreak in the country early last year, the authorities subsequently attributed cases to foreign sources.


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