BEIJING — China is seeing a new surge in coronavirus cases in its frozen northeast, and has reported its first death attributed to COVID-19 in months.

Officials said Thursday that Heilongjiang province in the region traditionally known as Manchuria recorded 43 new virus cases, most of them centered on the city of Suihua. The northern province of Hebei just outside Beijing has seen China’s most serious recent outbreak and reported 81 more cases.

The new death raises the official toll for the pandemic to 4,635.

The relatively low figure is shown as evidence to the effectiveness of China's strict health measures, but has also raised questions about the tight hold the government maintains on all information related to the outbreak.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

U.S. coronavirus deaths hit another one-day high at more than 4,300. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an expansion of the vaccination effort. California has lifted some stay-at-home orders in northern counties, while many orders remain in place where coronavirus cases are surging. Japan has widened its virus emergency <