Beijing officials urged to maintain ‘wartime’ status after new domestically transmitted COVID-19 case reported

By Chen Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/12 10:00:32

People visit Qianmen Street in Beijing, capital of China, June 3, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

Beijing authorities have tightened COVID-19 control measures, keeping some public venues such as cinemas and karaoke bars closed after a new coronavirus patient was reported on Thursday. The route of transmission remains unclear, sending a warning the capital should stay alert for sporadic locally transmitted cases. 

Given the latest COVID-19 case in Beijing's Xicheng district, local authorities are urged to maintain a "wartime" status in order to resolutely eliminate the possibility of a second outbreak, according to a meeting memo released on Friday. 

Beijing reported a new domestic COVID-19 case on Thursday, after reporting no new domestic cases for 55 consecutive days as of Wednesday. 

The patient, a Beijing man, has been sent to Beijing Ditan Hospital, a designated COVID-19 treatment center. Two close contacts, both of whom are the patient's family members, have been put under medical observation, the Beijing health authority announced at a press conference. Later on Thursday night, COVID-19 nucleic acid test results of the two family members - one a fourth grade primary school student in Xicheng - returned negative, according to information disclosed by the local health authority. 

The school was identified as Yumin School, which announced on Friday morning that 33 students and 15 staff members have all been put under home quarantine after the fourth grade student was established as a close contact of Beijing's new COVID-19 patient. An epidemiological investigation is ongoing.

Given the current situation, local public venues including cinemas and karaoke bars will remain closed, in line with tightened virus prevention and control measures. Local health authorities will adjust their policy guidelines for personal prevention work, such as guidelines on wearing masks and keeping social distancing. 

Some public health experts told the Global Times in an interview on Thursday that the most important thing at present is to trace the source of the virus in this case and cut its spread. 

Considering the latest COVID19 case in Beijing, Chinese CDC expert Zeng Guang told media that individual cases won't change the city's epidemic prevention level, and authorities are unlikely to adjust their current risk-responding mechanisms.

Global Times 

This is a developing story. We will update it later.


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