China reports 68 new COVID-19 cases, highest total since March

Chinese officials reported 68 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest total since March — raising concerns about a new spread of the deadly global pandemic, according to reports.

The new cases include 4 “imported” cases and 64 locally transmitted — the largest outbreak since March 6 in China, where the virus emerged in December, the country’s National Health Commission said Tuesday.

Of the 68 cases Monday, 57 were in the western region of Xinjiang, bringing the number of new cases there to 235 since July 16, the commission said.

Health officials in Xinjiang have identified a 24-year-old mall worker from the regional capital of Urumqui as “patient zero” in the outbreak, but have not released information on how she may have contracted the virus.

Two of the new cases were diagnosed in the capital of Beijing, including one “imported” case, the agency said.

As of Tuesday, mainland China had a total of 86,889 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,656 deaths from the bug, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the pandemic.

The US continues to be the hardest hit nation, with 4.3 million of the world’s 16.5 million cases as of Tuesday. The virus has killed 148,298 Americans.

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