Few scattered rebounds in Wuhan not a sign of second wave: experts

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/11 11:35:42

Midwife Luo Man (R) is pictured with words of blessing for mothers and infants written on the protective suit at the Hubei maternity and child healthcare hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, April 22, 2020. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and midwives have been playing a vital role in providing health services to patients in need. The World Health Assembly has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. (UN Population Fund & China Maternal and Child Health Association/Handout via Xinhua)

Central China's Hubei Province reported five new cases of COVID-19 infection on Sunday, all of which emerged from silent carriers in the city of Wuhan.

The Hubei Health Commission said the five cases are all from the same residential community in the Dongxihu district of Wuhan, and the patient who tested positive on Saturday, the first case since April 4, also hails from the same community. Three of the cases are over 70 years old, and one of whom is the wife of the patient who tested positive on Saturday.

Local residents were concern about potential community transmission and even a second wave of infections arriving in the hard-hit city, but an expert said this is unlikely. The health authority noted that Wuhan will implement stricter and more detailed measures to curb any risk of a rebound in COVID-19 cases. 

The Dongxihu district government announced on Monday that Zhang Yuxin, a grass-roots Party chief, who is allegedly responsible for the infection rebound in the community, was ousted from his post after a liaison group under China's State Council rushed to the community to inspect its surrounding and to oversee the prevention and control work on Saturday.

Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Monday that a few new cases are normal after Wuhan "cleared to zero," and this does not mean a second wave of infection is looming, especially considering the current strict control measures in communities and the decline in virus transmission caused by warmer weather.

The liaison group stressed the need to carry out an epidemiological investigation, find and cut the source of the infection, strengthen community control and expand the scope of testing, Xinhua reported on Saturday.

Following the liaison group's recommendation, Dongxihu district raised its epidemic-response level on Sunday. The community has been locked down. A reporter learned from a local resident that community workers have told residents to avoid going outdoors, and people who have a fever must report to the community office. 

Yang denied the high risk of large-scale community transmission as all of them were already under medical observation as close contacts or asymptomatic infections, even after showing zero symptoms. 

The health authority reported 11 new cases of asymptomatic infections, bringing the total active cases to 615 in the province. 

This community is not located in the main urban area and previously 20 confirmed cases were reported in it, Yang noted. 

The Hubei health authority announced zero imported cases and zero suspected cases on Sunday. Following the detection of these five new cases, the total existing cases in the province soared to six, all from Wuhan. 

A total of 283,118 close contacts have been traced across the province, and 984 are still under medical observation, officials said. 

A total of 68,134 confirmed COVID-19 cases had been reported in Hubei, including 50,339 in Wuhan as of press time. 

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