A World Health Organization team of experts probing the origins of the pandemic has landed in Wuhan in central Hubei Province on Thursday even as China announced its first local COVID-19 fatality in past many months. The team will be put under 14 days quarantine in Wuhan as per protocols and will interact with Chinese scientists during quarantine.

The National Health Commission said Thursday, the death occurred on Wednesday in N China's Hebei Province, the most affected region in the country. In another daily spike in new COVID cases in China, the Commission announced 138 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday in the Chinese mainland, of whom 124 were locally transmitted. Of the locally transmitted cases, 81 were reported in north China's Hebei Province and 43 in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. In addition, 78 new asymptomatic cases were also reported which China does not classify as confirmed cases. Tuesday also saw a high number of cases, with 115 new confirmed cases. Out of total 216 positive cases reported in Wednesday, 17 were imported.

Meanwhile, Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei Province, the epicenter of the most recent COVID-19 outbreak, began building 3,000 makeshift housing units to be used as quarantine venues for COVID patients on Wednesday amid surging infections.
In total, 9 cities in four provinces Hebei, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang and Jilin have reported new COVID positive cases (includes both symptomatic and asymptomatic) on Wednesday.

Chinese authorities and experts are concerned that the current outbreak may be of long-duration with speedy-transmission. Rural regions are most affected in this as officials warned about weak supervision and control measures in some villages.
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