Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities are reporting new COVID-19 cases in the country's two largest cities after imposing a lockdown of 1.7 million people in Beijing.
The Beijing Center for Diseases Prevention and Control said the city's Daxing District reported 11 cases from Sunday to Tuesday. In a previous statement the agency had said 9 new cases were confirmed.
Authorities said the patients had continued to go outside and visit people even after experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, according to state media.
The Beijing Municipal Health Commission said Thursday in a separate statement the Chinese capital reported two new COVID-19 cases among Daxing residents on Wednesday. The district, home to Beijing Daxing International Airport, has been sealed and all businesses have been ordered closed, while residents are banned from leaving their buildings.
China downplayed an uptick in cases that began in December. Late last year, the Beijing districts of Chaoyang and Shunyi reported a handful of cases, but state media claimed all COVID-19 tests yielded negative results.
Shanghai, China's most populous city, also reported its first local COVID-19 transmissions in months. Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said Thursday authorities have confirmed three local transmissions for the first time this year, and that the city's Huangpu District, home to Shanghai's Bund, has been designated a medium-risk area.
As new cases draw concern from Chinese health authorities, the country's National Health Commission said Hebei Province, the epicenter of an earlier outbreak, has come "under control."
Cases are rising in northeast China, however.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Thursday in recent days Jilin Province, adjacent to North Korea, reported more than 100 cases, and Heilongjiang Province reported 150 cases.
China has not banned travel ahead of the Lunar New Year, when the country witnesses what has been described as the largest annual human migration in the world.
The National Health Commission said travelers must present a negative test result within 7 days of departure, then quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
In 2020, China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan on Jan. 23, but travelers had already left the city for the holidays.
China's officially confirmed cases now stand at 88,701.