COVID-19 carrier from Iran to NW China’s Ningxia a Chinese national: Iranian Embassy

By Deng Xiaoci and Xie Wenting Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/27 16:55:39 Last Updated: 2020/2/28 0:21:05

Pedestrians wear face masks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Local Chinese authority has identified that the COVID-19 patient who recently traveled from Iran to China as a 23-year-old Chinese male who worked in Iran as a translator.

The patient, surnamed Ding, was admitted to a designated hospital in Zhongwei, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region after being tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Wednesday. 

Local government said the man started working in Iran in October, 2019. 

It is unknown how he contracted the virus. 

Chinese government is trying to identify anyone who came in contact with the patient. 

Earlier on Thursday, the Iranian Embassy in China confirmed with Global Times that the traveler is a Chinese national and is undergoing treatment.

The case shows again that the virus knows no borders, and this is a task of the international community to strengthen their cooperation to combat this epidemic, the embassy said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing on Thursday that China is closely monitoring the epidemic in Iran and other countries.

He also noted that China is willing to work with the international community, including Iran, to launch joint prevention and control, to share the country's experience, to strengthen cooperation, and to take scientific measures  to safeguard global heath security together. 

Zhongwei announced the discovery of the confirmed case from overseas on Wednesday night in a public notice, which also detailed the travel itinerary of the patient. 

That included boarding flight SU513 from Iran on February 19, making a 16-hour stopover in Moscow on February 20 and arriving at Shanghai Pudong International Airport the same day.

After the patient arrived at Shanghai airport, he called a car through the online hailing service Didi to get to Shanghai railway station on February 22. He then took an overnight train to Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu Province on February 23, and another train to Zhongwei by early morning the next day, roughly at 1:20 am.

Ding was sent to a designated hotel for medical observation upon arrival in the Ningxia city. 

As of Thursday noon, the Shanghai health commission said on Sina Weibo that the city has tracked down 63 people who had close contact with the patient, and they are now under quarantine for medical observation. The places the patient had visited have been disinfected.

The People's Daily reported on Thursday that Zhongwei has quarantined 30 people with close contact with the patient in a timely fashion. 

Zhongwei also notified the Shanghai center of disease control and Lanzhou railway regulator to assist in the investigation, and report the information of 189 people who had close contact with the patient to the local health departments.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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