Chinese health authorities reported 96 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, 11 fewer than a day earlier and more than a third of them in the province where the latest surge in infections began. The National Health Commission said 81 of the new cases – recorded for Saturday – were locally transmitted and 15 were imported. In addition, 30 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 555 asymptomatic patients remained under medical observation, the commission said. The cases take the national total of confirmed Covid-19 infections to 93,701, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636. Of the cases reported on Sunday, 38 were in the eastern province of Jiangsu, including two in the provincial capital of Nanjing, where an outbreak erupted at the city’s international airport last month before spreading to 17 provinces and regions around the country. Yangzhou reported 36 cases, the commission said. Fifteen officials in Nanjing have been punished over their roles in the outbreak, including three airport officials responsible for overall management, emergency work and ground service at the facility who are being investigated for dereliction of duty. Eight officials in Yangzhou have also been punished for dereliction of duty, according to Yangzhou’s Communist Party discipline inspection authority. It said inadequate management of the latest wave allowed one resident to infect 23 others. Coronavirus: Beijing tightens travel restrictions to keep Delta variant at bay Further east in the central province of Henan, where devastating floods killed more than 300 people last month, 24 new confirmed cases were recorded. Of these, 21 were in the capital Zhengzhou, where residential communities have been sealed off and epidemic controls implemented to contain the spread. Most of the confirmed and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in Zhengzhou were related to the Sixth People’s Hospital, a facility designated to treat overseas arrivals who are infected with Covid-19. Chinese officials have blamed the latest clusters mainly on the highly transmissible Delta variant, which authorities are cautiously confident of containing using the “zero tolerance” strategy of mass vaccination, mass testing, stay-at-home orders and contact tracing. An official from the NHC’s disease control and prevention bureau said on Thursday that China had contained the Delta variant once before in Guangzhou, and could do it again if containment measures were strictly enforced. In the capital Beijing, authorities have tightened travel restrictions, banning visitors from coronavirus hotspots as they try to keep Delta at bay. As of Saturday, around 1.77 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine had been administered around the country, according to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. But it is still a long way from the goal of herd immunity for China’s 1.4 billion people.