(Adds suspension of subway in Shijiazhuang)
SHANGHAI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Mainland China reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 8, down from 53 reported a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Saturday.
The National Health Commission said in a statement that 14 of the 17 locally transmitted infections were in Hebei, the province surrounding Beijing which entered a "wartime mode" this week as it battles a new cluster of coronavirus infections.
Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital, announced on Saturday it would suspend service on its subway. Earlier this week, authorities banned people from leaving the city in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.
Shijiazhuang is launching mass testing across its population of 11 million. On Jan. 8, municipal authorities told residents they must stay home for at least seven days even after they complete a nucleic acid test.
The commission also reported 38 new asymptomatic cases, down from 57 a day earlier. China does not classify these patients, who have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease but are not yet showing any COVID-19 symptoms, as confirmed cases. (Reporting by Josh Horwitz and Roxanne Liu; Editing by William Mallard and Lincoln Feast.)
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