(Reuters) – Mainland China reported a rise in new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, reversing three straight days of declines, because of a spike in new infections in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.
Mainland China had 139 new confirmed cases as of Wednesday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said, bringing the total accumulated number of cases to 80,409. Authorities reported 119 new cases the previous day and 125 the day before that.
The increase was driven by more cases in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, where the virus is believed to have emerged in a market late last year.
Wuhan’s new infections climbed to 131 from 114 a day earlier. There was no immediate elaboration and health officials were due to hold a briefing later in the day.
After what some critics said was an initially hesitant response to the new virus, China imposed sweeping restrictions to try to stop it, including transport suspensions, lockdowns of cities and extending a Lunar New Year holiday across the country.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials have said other countries have much to learn from the way China has handled the outbreak and Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu said many countries had asked for help and China was responding.
The number of new confirmed cases in Hubei, excluding Wuhan, has remained in single digits for seven consecutive days, with three new infections recorded on Wednesday.