The claim underscores the enormous stakes as China competes with U.S. and British companies to be the first with a vaccine to help end the pandemic
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The Chinese-ruled city recorded 52 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, health authorities said.
Meanwhile, two World Health Organization experts went in China for a mission to trace the origin of the pandemic.
There are no approved vaccines yet for COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, which has killed more than half a million people globally.
The WHO mission is politically sensitive, with the U.S. moving to cut ties with it over allegations it mishandled the outbreak and is biased toward China.
An analysis of Commerce Department travel entry records and private aviation data shows that nearly 8,000 Chinese nationals and foreign residents of Hong Kong and Macao entered the U.S.
South Korea's health said Sunday afternoon that the government is prepared to implement stronger social distancing measures if the epidemic continues to grow.
China has extended COVID-19 tests to newly reopened salons amid a drop in cases, while South Korea continues to face new infections after it eased social distancing rules to lift the economy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave.
The United States, which counts the most infections in the world, is seeing daily jumps in COVID-19 cases nearing the peak reached in late April.