China reports 1,300 asymptomatic virus cases after public concern Apr 02, 2020 0 509 12345 AFPBeijingChina on Wednesday said it has more than 1,300 asymptomatic coronavirus cases, the first time it has released such data following public concern over people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms.Health officials also reported the first imported case from abroad in Wuhan -- the epicentre where the virus first emerged late last year -- heightening fears of infections being brought into China from other countries.Of 36 new cases reported Wednesday, 35 were imported from abroad. The National Health Commission (NHC) said 1,367 asymptomatic patients were under medical observation, with 130 new cases added in the last day.The NHC announced Tuesday that it would respond “to public concerns” by starting to publish daily data on asymptomatic cases, which it said were infectious.There were mass calls online calls for the information after authorities revealed over the weekend that an infected woman in Henan province had been in close contact with three asymptomatic cases. Asymptomatic cases will not be added to the overall tally unless they later show clinical symptoms.Announcing the new figures on Wednesday seemed to do little to quell fears.Many on social media said they were terrified of the high number of asymptomatic carriers, and some called for health officials to break down the data by province. “It’s absolutely necessary to report the whereabouts of asymptomatic cases, they’re like stealth carriers, it’s scary,” read one popular comment.Experts agree that asymptomatic patients are likely to be infectious, but it remains unknown how responsible they are for spreading the deadly virus.Beijing has announced a series of dramatic measures to control imported cases -- including testing people arriving from overseas -- to determine those who are infected but do not show symptoms.China says all detected asymptomatic cases and their close contacts must undergo 14-day quarantine.Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan said in a state media interview last week that asymptomatic carriers could potentially infect “3 to 3.5 people each”.Many other countries including South Korea and Japan count asymptomatic cases in their national tallies of confirmed diagnoses.There have now been 81,554 infections in China, with 3,312 deaths -- mostly concentrated in the epicentre of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province.There were seven more deaths Wednesday, six in Hubei province. The first imported case confirmed in Wuhan on Wednesday was a Chinese national studying in Britain, who arrived in the city last week as it started to gradually lift travel restrictions imposed to control the outbreak. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES India turns rail cars, stadiums into Covid-19 isolation wards, jails Apr 02, 2020 0 681 Philippines’ Duterte warns troublemakers he will order them shot dead Apr 02, 2020 0 515 India sends medical gear to Serbia amid shortages at home Apr 02, 2020 0 121 Malaysia makes massive seizure of pangolin scales Kuala Lumpur Malaysian authorities seized about six tonnes of pangolin scales and smashed a smuggling syndicate, officials said on Wednesday, as the country clamps down on rampant wildlife trafficking. The pangolin, .. Japan expands ban on visitors as virus cases climb AFP Tokyo Japan will bar visitors from the United States, China and most of Europe, the prime minister said Wednesday, as the country seeks to stem a recent rise in coronavirus cases. The entry ban, which will also apply to .. NZ police urge virus-testing tent thieves to get tested Wellington Hapless thieves who stole a coronavirus testing tent in New Zealand have put themselves at risk of contracting the virus and should get tested, police have warned. The tent was stolen from outside an Auckland .. Man found dead on Thai train tests positive for COVID-19 AFP Bangkok A man found dead on a passenger train in Thailand has tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday, as the country’s death toll from the contagion more than triples from a week ago. The 57 year .. Sri Lanka seizes record $65 million worth of drugs Colombo Sri Lanka’s navy has seized $65 million worth of crystal methamphetamine and ketamine in the country’s biggest drugs bust, officials said Wednesday. Acting on a tip-off, authorities raided a flagless vessel in ..