Latest Coronavirus News: China Witnessing New COVID-19 Outbreaks In Xinjiang Region
Latest Coronavirus News:
Chinese health authorities are reporting new COVID-19 cases sprouting all over in various cities and counties in the far-western region of Xinjiang.
The outbreak initially started in the predominantly muslim Shufu county where a single case was reported on Saturday but in the last few hours hundreds of cases are being reported all over the Xinjiang province.
At the time of posting this article, the Chinese city of Kashgar has already found more than more than 217 new cases linked to first positive case and thousands more are being tested.
The most of the new cases in Kashgar were all asymptomatic and linked to a local factory where the infected teenager’s parents worked. However patients have already been hospitalized with 3 in ICU.
The regional health authority said that the remote city of Kashgar in China’s far west detected more than 200 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases by Sunday evening and thousands more are being tested.
The deputy head of the Xinjiang health committee, Gu Yingsu, told a press conference that all 217 new cases were related to one identified in a 17-year-old villager in Shufu county the previous day.
He said the cases were all related to a factory in a neighboring village where the girl’s parents worked.
The outbreak is the biggest reported in China since a cluster of cases linked to a market in Beijing in June.
What was concerning is that many numerous cases are also emerging in various cities and counties elsewhere in Xinjiang region.
The authorities in Kashgar started a mass testing programme after the girl was found to be infected during a routine screening.
Health authorities said that 4.75 million people in total would be tested, and 2.8 million samples had been collected by Sunday afternoon.
The health authorities said they have so far received results from 334,800 of the tests and found no new cases apart from those linked to the factory.
The city government immediately imposed travel restrictions following Saturday’s positive, cancelling public transport and flights and people were asked not to leave their neighborhoods to allow medical staff to carry out nucleic tests. The city’s schools have also been told to close
The extensive mass testing programme was initiated despite one of China’s top health experts expressing doubts about the efficacy of such measures.
Dr Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview with media on Saturday, described the use of such tactics in the east China city of Qingdao where 11 million people were tested in five days recently as “overkill”.
He said that the universal screening programme failed to identify any new cases, and a more localized approach would have been more suitable.
He said, “Qingdao was determined to do it, but it’s overkill.”
So far there have been a series of
isolated infections in China in recent months, with clusters reported in Urumqi and Ruili, as well as Qingdao and Beijing.
Cecilia Hu a Beijing resident said she was surprised to receive a call from Kashgar’s health authorities in the early hours of Sunday morning because she had visited the city last week.
She said, “They just wanted to confirm that I had been in Kashgar a few days ago, and what my current location was.”
Health authorities in Beijing issued a notice on Sunday advising residents to avoid travelling to Kashgar and the Xinjiang region.
It was reported that all flights in and out cities in Xinjiang has been cancelled and there is very strict monitoring of people leaving or entering the region.
Meanwhile there are also unconfirmed emerging reports that new COVID-19 cases have also been detected in the provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan.
Thailand Medical News will provide updates as more details are obtained.
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