China reported its highest daily total of new coronavirus cases in two months on Sunday and infections in South Korea rose, showing how the disease can come back as curbs on business and travel are lifted.
China had 57 new confirmed cases in the 24 hours through midnight Saturday, the National Health Commission reported. That was the highest since mid-April and included 36 in the capital, Beijing, a city of 20 million people.
Beijing’s cases all were linked to its biggest wholesale food market, which was shut down Saturday, the official China News Service reported, citing the city’s disease control agency.
It said 27 worked there and nine had direct or indirect exposure to it.
The Xinfadi market was closed after 50 people tested positive for the virus in the Chinese capital’s first confirmed cases in 50 days.
China, where the pandemic began in December, and other countries that suffered early on including South Korea, Italy and Spain have seen numbers of new infections decline. Brazil, India, the United States and other countries are seeing large increases.
China responded to the outbreak with the world’s most intensive anti-disease controls, isolating cities with some 60 million people and shutting down much of its economy. Those steps were later imitated by some other governments.
The ruling Communist party eased most limits on business and travel after declaring victory over the disease in March. Some curbs still are in place including a ban on most foreign travelers arriving in the country.
On Saturday, authorities in Beijing locked down 11 residential communities near the Xinfadi market. White fencing sealed off a road leading to apartment building. Drivers were required to show identification to enter the area.
The latest Chinese cases raised the mainland’s total to 83,132, with 4634 deaths, according to the Health Commission.
Also Sunday, China’s air regulator announced China Southern Airlines was required to suspend flights between Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the southern city of Guangzhou for four weeks after 17 passengers on Thursday’s flight tested positive for the virus.
Beijing allows each airline to make one flight per week on each route. Under rules announced June 4, a route will be suspended for one week if five passengers on a flight test positive and four weeks if the number rises to 10.