Beijing has virtually walled itself off to outsiders with drastic measures to protect China's seat of power against the threat of a second wave of coronavirus infections from other regions. After largely getting the outbreak under control, China has banned foreigners from entering the country as authorities fret over an increase in cases imported from abroad - though most have been Chinese citizens.
The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic surged past 1,500 on Saturday after 139 more people died in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. The province's health commission also reported 2,420 new cases of the COVID-19 strain, about half the number from the previous day.
The official Chinese death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Friday to 636, with the government saying total infections had climbed past 30,000. The toll was raised by 73 new deaths from the epidemic, the National Health Commission said in its daily update.
The death toll from a new coronavirus in mainland China jumped by 73 to 563 on Thursday, its third consecutive record daily rise, as experts intensified efforts to find a vaccine for a disease that has shut down Chinese cities and forced thousands more into quarantine around the world.
The number of deaths from a new SARS-like virus has climbed to nine as of the end of Tuesday with 440 confirmed cases, Chinese health officials said as authorities stepped up efforts to control the outbreak by discouraging public gatherings in Hubei province.