China's Gansu province reports 11 new coronavirus cases from Iran flights while Beijing reports 4 cases from Italy

In a photo taken on Jan 27, 2020, staff members wearing face masks stand guard at a check point at the entrance of a village in China's northwestern Gansu province. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - The north-western Chinese province of Gansu reported 11 new confirmed coronavirus patients, all of whom entered China on commercial flights from Iran, while Beijing reported four new cases of coronavirus on Thursday (March 5), all imported from Italy.

A total of 311 passengers arriving at the provincial capital of Lanzhou from Iran have now been quarantined, state broadcaster CCTV reported late on Thursday.

Before the new cases, Gansu had reported a total of 91 infections, with two deaths, it added.

Last month, it became the first province to lower its emergency response measures from level I to level III, reflecting the lack of new infections.

Beijing reported four new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, all imported from Italy, the city's municipal health commission said in a statement on Friday. The city now has a total of 422 cases.

Mainland China had 143 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Thursday, the country's National Health Commission said on Friday, up from 139 cases a day earlier.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,552.

The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China was 3,042 as of the end of Thursday, up by 30 from the previous day.

The central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 29 new deaths. In the provincial capital of Wuhan, 23 people died.

As the number of new cases dwindles in China, attention has turned to potential infections arriving from overseas.

Iran has confirmed a total of 3,513 infections by March 5, with 107 deaths, its health ministry said on Thursday.

The authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and the province of Guangdong have all promised to quarantine travellers from countries hit the hardest by the coronavirus, which Beijing identified as South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy.

Shanghai has also been tracing people who came into contact with a traveller from Iran who was found to be carrying the virus.

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