SHANGHAI: China’s National Health Commission said on Saturday that 54 new coronavirus cases were reported on the mainland on Friday, all involving so-called imported cases. There were 55 new cases a day earlier.
The total number of infections for mainland China now stands at 81,394, with the death toll rising by 3 to 3,295, it said.
Hubei province, the hardest-hit region in the country, had 67,801 coronavirus cases and 3,177 deaths as of end-Friday.
Effective Saturday, China has temporarily suspended the entry of foreign nationals with valid Chinese visas and residence permits. The new restriction reflects worries in Beijing over the risk posed by so-called imported cases of the virus after widespread lockdowns within China helped to bring domestic transmissions under control.
Beijing has also ordered airlines to sharply cut international flights from Sunday.
A commentary in the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper on Saturday reflected the concern.
“At this time, we must be extremely vigilant and cautious, and we must prevent the post-epidemic relaxation from coming too soon, leading to the loss of all our achievements,” it said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday that China would support U.S. efforts to fight the coronavirus.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States rose by at least 16,000 on Friday to nearly 102,000, the most of any country.