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Cities step up efforts to contain virus

Cang Wei/ Zhao Ruixue
Updated: Aug 10,2021 07:09 AM    China Daily

After 20 days of strict epidemic containment measures, Nanjing, Jiangsu province, reported no new COVID-19 cases on Aug 9, city officials said.

Many of Nanjing's medium-risk areas for the virus have been downgraded to low risk, said Bao Yunhai, an official at the Nanjing Information Office. "But many residents are still under quarantine and the city still faces great pressure to contain the virus," he said at a news conference on Aug 10. "We should continue to follow health protocols to protect ourselves," he added.

In Nanjing's Lukou subdistrict, health and social workers, along with police officers, were on Aug 10 busy disinfecting areas where patients and asymptomatic carriers have been. Police obtained the keys to buildings and let in the workers, who took four hours on average to disinfect each apartment.

Since July 20, Nanjing has reported 231 locally transmitted cases, while neighboring Yangzhou has registered 346. Yangzhou reported 38 new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Aug 9.

Yangzhou still has weaknesses in prevention measures, such as some residents not wearing masks and workers failing to check all QR health codes in public places, officials from the city's epidemic prevention and control headquarters said on Aug 10.

Wu Zhenglong, Jiangsu's governor, said stricter measures must be taken to curb the spread of the virus in Yangzhou.

When visiting a designated hospital for COVID-19 patients in Yangzhou on Aug 9, he said that nucleic acid testing procedures should be better organized to prevent people from getting infected while swab samples are being taken.

A government worker has been suspended and is under investigation for infecting 23 people at a site where samples were being collected for nucleic acid testing. The worker, who is being treated in hospital, defied instructions to government employees not to visit gambling houses.

In Nanjing, a 2-year-old boy was infected by his parents, who talked to contacts of infected people at a sample collection center in late July.

Many officials in Yangzhou have been punished for failing to properly organize the taking of swab samples.

Lyu Xiuqin, 66, from Nanjing's Nanyuan community, said she lined up for more than four hours to take a nucleic acid test at a sample collection site when the city began the first round of testing.

"There was no way to do social distancing in such a crowded place," she said.

"Thousands of people, many not wearing masks, talked to each other at the crowded collection site. Though the situation improved greatly in the second, third and fourth rounds, I just feel lucky that no infected people showed up at the site in the first round."

Bao, from the information office, urged residents to keep a one-meter social distance, wash their hands frequently, wear masks in public and avoid going to populated areas or places with poor ventilation.

The Chinese mainland on Aug 9 reported 94 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, including 41 in Henan province, 38 in Jiangsu, 12 in Hunan province and three in Hubei province, the National Health Commission said in its daily briefing on Aug 10. The 41 cases in Henan include 40 asymptomatic carriers.

Lou Yangsheng, Party secretary of Henan, called for the province to swiftly contain the latest outbreak.

"The coming two weeks, and especially the coming week, are the crucial time to cope with this round of the epidemic," Lou said at the third special epidemic control meeting held on Aug 9 by the Party Committee of Henan. "The whole province needs to unite with confidence and use the strictest standards and the most resolute measures to enclose, seal and extinguish the epidemic by the end of this month."

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