BEIJING — China recorded more than 2,000 new domestic cases of COVID-19 in January, the highest monthly total since the tail end of the initial outbreak in Wuhan in March of last year.
The National Health Commission said Sunday that 2,016 cases were reported from Jan. 1-30. That does not include another 435 infected people who arrived from abroad. The tally for Jan. 31 is due to be released Monday.
Two people have died in January, the first reported COVID deaths in China in several months.
Most of the new cases have been in three northern provinces. Hardest-hit Hebei province, which borders Beijing, has reported more than 900 cases. Beijing, the Chinese capital, has itself had 45 cases this month.
The numbers, while low compared to many other countries, have prompted officials to tighten restrictions and strongly discourage people from traveling during the Lunar New Year, a major holiday when people typically return home for family reunions.
Train trips were down nearly 75 percent in the first three days of the holiday travel season, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday, citing the state railway company.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.