China recently confirmed it had no new domestic cases, but reported 34 new cases among people who’ve recently returned to China.
Other Asian countries like Singapore reported 33 new imported cases, and South Korea saw an increase of 152 new cases. It’s not immediately known how many of the South Korean cases were imported.
Hokkaido, which held the worst infected rate in the Japanese region, is lifting its state of emergency that’s been in place since late February.
Hokkaido officials said the spread of the virus appeared to be ending but urged people to stay home and to remain cautious.
“We’ve carried out powerful measures on refraining from going out. But now we’re moving into a stage of reducing risks of the spread of infection while maintaining social and economic activities,” said Governor of Hokkaido Naomichi Suzuki.
But the high number of asymptomatic cases, where people carry the virus but show no symptoms, will be the contributing factor to a potential second wave of the outbreak, said Global Times in a published article.
Even in Wuhan, where the epidemic began, daily cases have dropped to zero, but the city is not counting its asymptomatic infections.
One out of three positive coronavirus tests is considered a ‘silent carrier, who’ve shown no symptoms, according to Chinese government data reviewed by South China Morning Post. ⠀⠀⠀⠀
“The second wave of the outbreak in China is inevitable until we have a vaccine or effective treatments.” Larry William Chang, a United States infectious diseases expert, told the Global Times.
Ben Cowling, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong, told TIME, “In one or two weeks, we could see outbreaks where we don’t know where people got the virus.”
China has recently reported more than 350 imported cases as Chinese citizens return to their homeland from other countries after the epicenter shifted from Hubei to Europe.
In Hong Kong, over 90% of the new cases in the past two weeks are linked to traveling aboard, according to the South China Morning Post.