More than half of the coronavirus infections reported by China on Sunday stemmed from a Russian flight to Shanghai on April 10, underscoring the possible severity of the outbreak in Russia.
Shanghai’s Municipal Health Commission said 51 of 52 imported cases on Saturday were of Chinese nationals who were diagnosed to have Covid-19 after they landed in the city. The travelers accounted for more than half of 97 imported infections China disclosed on Sunday morning. No other information was provided about the flight.
Ninety-two people linked to the Russian flight have been tracked and quarantined, Shanghai authorities said. It’s not clear why the Chinese nationals were in Russia.
Russia has emerged as a fresh source of imported virus infections for China, which seems to have tamed its own outbreak and has now pivoted toward staving off cases from elsewhere. China has grounded all but one inbound flight per week for foreign airlines in a bid to limit imported cases, but new infections have also found their way back to the country through land borders, especially the one with Russia.
China isn’t alone in reporting imported infections, which have increasingly accounted for an increase in confirmed virus cases for some countries as their governments bring citizens home from abroad to protect them from outbreaks in those nations.
China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province has reported more than 100 imported infections from Russia at its land borders so far this month.
Russia is tightening a lockdown of its capital amid a worsening spread of the virus that is straining local health systems. On Sunday, the country reported the number of new coronavirus cases increased by 31% overnight to 2,186. That took the total to 15,770. Twenty-four deaths related to Covid-19 were reported, double the count in the previous period and bringing the nation’s total to 130.