China reports no new domestic case of COVID-19 for two days in a row, and its lowest number of deaths from the virus in two months.
According to the National Health Commission, all of the new cases reported recently were imported.
This prompts the focus to shift to guarding against cases arriving from abroad, as the spread of the virus across Europe and North America made Chinese expatriates, in which many are overseas students, rush home.
On a news conference, National Health Commission official Wang Bin said, “The number of imported cases in China has further increased, and so the pressure to be on guard has also increased.”
On Thursday, the National Health Commission reported 39 new cases, wherein all are imported, and some of those travellers had been in Britain, Spain, and the United States.
One of the new imported cases was a 23-year-old woman studying in London who went home in Tianjin via Zurich, Tokyo and Beijing.
A Beijing resident told reporters, “Everyone is being very vigilant about those coming back from abroad. We must absolutely not let our guard down.”
“We cannot relax this vigilance so much that we see a rebound.”
Authorities say that the traveller did not show signs of fever or respiratory tract symptoms after arriving on March 16.
The Yale School of Public Health said that many overseas outbreaks originated from travellers from China who were pre-symptomatic hence screening and isolation was not necessary at that time.
To avoid or at least limit the possibility of asymptomatic patients returning to spread the deadly disease, officials now require 14-day isolation for travellers coming back from any of the 24 badly hit countries.
On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping warned that China should not allow the upward trend of containment be reversed.