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Coronavirus cases in China see over 20-month high

The coronavirus tally in China hit an over 20-month high on Sunday as infections in the country kept rising in recent weeks.

This comes as people are preparing to move to their homes during the upcoming New Year holidays and as Beijing prepares to host Winter Olympics.

The National Health Commission (NHC) in its latest data showed the Chinese mainland on Sunday reporting 162 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the state-run Xinhua News reported on Monday.

This was the highest number of cases over one and a half years.

Xi'an city, the capital of northwestern Shaanxi province -- the hotspot of the latest outbreak -- reported 152 of the total cases, the NHC said.

The city has been under lockdown imposed since last week in the wake of rising coronavirus cases.

Around 901 kilometers (560 miles) from the Olympics venue, Xi'an saw a jump in virus cases above a hundred on Sunday, bringing the total to 500 over the past few weeks.

Officials said close to 29,000 people are under hotel quarantine.

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