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Cities step up efforts to contain outbreaks

Cang Wei/Zhao Ruixue
Updated: Aug 03,2021 09:03    China Daily

Many Chinese cities have upgraded measures, including multiple rounds of nucleic acid testing and travel curbs, to contain the latest COVID-19 outbreaks, in which locally transmitted cases with the Delta variant of novel coronavirus were found.

The Chinese mainland reported 55 new locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases on Aug 1, the National Health Commission said on Aug 2.

Of the newly reported cases, 40 were in Jiangsu province, seven in Hunan province, two each in Beijing and Hubei province, and one each in Shandong, Henan, Hainan and Yunnan provinces, the commission said.

In Jiangsu, Nanjing reported 11 locally transmitted confirmed cases, while Yangzhou registered 26 and Huai'an recorded three.

Nanjing, the provincial capital, which has reported 215 locally transmitted confirmed cases since July 20, has suspended all walk-in clinics to prevent the spread of the virus.

It has also shut down some departments susceptible to infection at large hospitals, including dental, ophthalmology and plastic surgery.

Since Aug 2, Nanjing has launched a fourth round of nucleic acid testing at 58 communities and villages in nine of its 11 districts, all of which have reported confirmed cases.

According to Nanjing's health authorities, the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the city originated from an imported case on Flight CA910 from Russia on July 10.

Nanjing has placed all transportation entering and leaving the city, including buses, taxis and ride-hailing services, under strict control. As of Aug 2, Jiangsu also blocked 57 highway entrances and exits in the province.

"The virus was transmitted early but was detected late (in Yangzhou). It broke out in dense crowds at closed spaces, where many senior people stay," said Wu Zhenglong, Jiangsu's governor.

He said Yangzhou should learn from other cities, find loopholes in prevention work and carry out effective measures to contain the virus. Yangzhou, with a population of more than 4.5 million, launched a second round of nucleic acid testing in its downtown area on Aug 1.

Outside Jiangsu, genome sequencing analysis of 20 samples collected from recent COVID-19 infections in Hunan showed that they were highly homologous with the outbreak in Nanjing. They are all infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the Hunan Center for Disease Control and Prevention was reported as saying by Hunan Daily on Aug 2.

Thirteen temporary labs for nucleic acid testing are being built in the Hunan city of Zhangjiajie, which reported the most locally transmitted confirmed cases in the province since the outbreak, to boost the capacity in testing. By Aug 1, seven of them had been put into operation.

In Wuhan, Hubei province, seven migrant workers at the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone were found to be positive in nucleic acid testing on Aug 2, local authorities said.

Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of Henan, reported 13 locally transmitted confirmed cases and 50 asymptomatic carriers as of 6 pm on Aug 2.

Most of the infections were linked to the No 6 People's Hospital, which is designated for COVID-19 patients. Gene sequencing results showed that the first two local cases found were infected with the Delta variant, which is highly homologous to the patients from Myanmar being treated at the hospital, it said.

The city has quarantined 272 close contacts. By 6 pm on Aug 2, it had collected nucleic acid test samples of about 9.8 million people and was cooperating with other cities to accelerate testing of the samples.

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