New COVID-19 cases in Guangzhou, southern China

Health authorities in Guangzhou, southern China, are on high alert after confirming the first new coronavirus infections in several months, with many apparently caused by the variant first identified in India.

They say the first COVID-19 case since last December was confirmed in the city on May 21, and that others who had close contact with that person have also tested positive. Many of them are suspected to have the variant first detected in India.

Authorities responded with emergency PCR testing of roughly 2.2 million of the city's residents. Officials say 18 new cases were confirmed on Sunday.

The authorities plan to expand the areas to be tested and have temporarily closed junior and senior high schools. Bus services have been suspended in the district where the first case was found.

Starting Monday evening, anyone leaving the city by public transport will be required to present proof of a negative test within the previous three days.