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New coronavirus cases in China double, mainly in Hebei province

Mainland China reported 69 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 9, more than double the 33 reported cases a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Sunday.

The National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin that 21 of the new cases were imported.

The bulk of locally transmitted cases, 46 out of 48, were in Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing which entered a “wartime mode” this week as it battles a new cluster of coronavirus infections.

Another 27 asymptomatic cases were also reported on Jan. 9, down from 38 a day earlier. China does not classify these patients, who have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease but are not yet showing any COVID-19 symptoms, as confirmed cases.

Mainland China has now reported an accumulated total of 87,433 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 4,634 deaths.