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SHANGHAI: Chinese authorities halted public transport in a provincial capital near Beijing on Saturday in an effort to stamp out a new cluster of coronavirus infections. Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province which surrounds Beijing, suspended service on the city's subway, then extended the ban to all public transport, including taxis. The province entered a "wartime mode" this week to battle the infections.

At a media conference on Saturday, provincial authorities said mass testing for the virus had been conducted for all 11 million residents of Shijiazhuang, as well as the neighboring city of Xingtai.

Ma Yujun, deputy mayor of Shijiazhuang, said the city was working to locate the origin of the outbreak.

The National Health Commission reported 33 new COVID-19 cases for mainland China on Jan. 8, down from 53 reported a day earlier. The authority said 14 of the 17 locally transmitted infections were in Hebei.