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City of 6 million under lockdown amid new coronavirus outbreaks across China

A city of some six million people has been placed in emergency lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases has raised fears of a new outbreak.

The Chinese port city of Dalian had no new reported cases of Covid-19 for almost four months – until now.

In the last few days three locals have been admitted to hospital with symptoms of the deadly virus.

The authorities have scrambled to impose a lockdown – urging residents not to leave the city and tracing anyone who has had contact with the new victims.

Localised spikes of coronavirus cases have been reported elsewhere in China.

Dalian had no new reported cases for nearly four months

In Xinjiang, western China, 18 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours. The new outbreak there has spread rapidly, bring 82 cases in the past week.

Hong Kong, too, has suffered a new spike in infections. Cases in the densely-populated city reached a new daily record of 118 overnight, continuing a sharp upward trend that started at the beginning of the month.

Hong Kong now has a total of 2,250 confirmed infections, and at least 14 deaths.

People across the city are being checked for symptoms

The cases in Dalian are a cause of particular concern, because none of them are known to have had any contact with carriers from outside the city, and nor had any of them had travelled outside the area in the past 14 days.

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The first case in the new mini-outbreak was a 58 year-old man who worked at a local seafood processing company. He went to a hospital on Tuesday complaining of a high fever and tested positive for the coronavirus the next morning.

Two other confirmed cases were reported by official the following day. It has not yet been disclosed whether the three victims knew each other.

After the authorities followed up the first case’s known contacts, a further 12 people who had not as yet shown any symptoms of the disease tested positive for coronavirus.

City administrators have activated an emergency response after registering the new cases. The patients’ workplaces have been temporarily closed and all their workmates tested and quarantined pending their results.

The seafood company’s 18 shops have been closed and some 200,000 locals have been tested.

China now has over 86,000 cases and 4,648 deaths. The UK’s current official totals are 297,952 confirmed cases and 45,586 deaths.

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