A cluster of virus cases in China's Hebei province has continued to grow, with over 39 confirmed cases and 78 asymptomatic cases reported on Tuesday, according to an official statement Wednesday.
China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has claimed that the cluster is linked to imported cases.
CDC deputy director-general Feng Zijian said on a CCTV state news program on January 5 that “the virus [in Hebei] is different from those that have been spreading in other parts of China. It is imported from overseas, possibly from Europe.”
Feng added that the cases spreading in Shijiazhuang and Xingtai are “highly related to the same source.”
The majority of cases are linked to the Gaocheng district of Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei province, with another city, Xingtai, 100km away from the capital, reporting two cases.
The first case was reported on January 2, when a Gaocheng district resident tested positive for the virus a few days after going to a wedding. A few other attendees tested positive later.
Gaocheng has been designated as a "high-risk area," starting Wednesday.
People who wish to travel from Shijiazhuang airport and train station need to present a negative PCR test result from within the last 72 hours.
The city will start testing all residents from January 6, according to a spokesperson from the Shijiazhuang Municipal People’s Government, who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.