China reports sharp increase in new coronavirus cases as it battles second wave of infections

China has reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases since March 5. China is currently attempting to battle a new wave of infections, which authorities say mainly originated abroad.

The virus originated in China, but lockdown restrictions have been eased in the epicenter of the crisis in Wuhan after a steep decline in new cases

Business Insider reports China has recorded it’s highest number of new coronavirus cases for five weeks — and medical authorities are saying that most of the cases originated abroad.

According to China’s National Health Commission, 108 new coronavirus cases were registered on Sunday, the highest number since March 5, when 143 new infections were reported.

Of the new cases 98 were “imported,” or foreign in origin, according to the data published in the Global Times, a state-funded Chinese publication, and 61 of the cases asymptomatic.

The new figure marks an increase on Saturday’s 99 new cases, and the 43 new cases recorded on Friday, which all largely also originated outside the country, according to the commission.

The new figures come amid concern that people crossing into China across the Russian border have been bringing new cases of infection into the country. According to Reuters,49 Chinese nationals crossing into China in the border city of Suifenhe in the northeastern Heilongjiang province tested positive.

In several border towns, immigration restrictions and quarantine rules have been introduced to halt the influx of new infections, according to the report.

The pandemic originated in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, but several weeks of tough quarantine rules led to a steep decline in new cases, and on March 19 no new cases of infection were recorded in the country for the first time since the outbreak began.

Since then there have been concerns that a second wave of outbreaks in China, mainly foreign in origin, could lead to the economy closing again and quarantine being reimposed.

According to official figures, during the first wave 80,000 people were infected by the virus and 3,000 have died.