Beijing's swift response lauded as mixed virus infection routes emerged at early stage

By Lu Wenao and Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/24 22:06:26

Photo:Li Hao/GT

The latest coronavirus outbreak in Beijing shows there is a possibility that infected individuals were exposed to the same source of infection before the human-to-human spread began, an official said on Wednesday, with experts believing that Beijing's swift response is the main reason the city has the outbreak basically under control.

"It is possible that patients were exposed to the same infectious source," said Lei Haichao, director of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. "Simultaneous exposure and human-to-human contagions were mixed in the beginning."

The multiple routes of infection mean that people could have become infected through both direct and indirect ways, said Wang Peiyu, deputy head of Peking University's School of Public Health.

"Compared to initial infections in Wuhan, where control measures were not so swift, Beijing's response came at a very early stage through active epidemiological investigations," Wang said.

Around 98.8 percent of the confirmed cases came from the Xinfadi market, which shows people were infected through direct close contact either to the virus origin or people already infected. 

There were only five days between the first case, detected on June 11, to the 100th case in the latest outbreak in Beijing, but the capital city managed to bring the spread linked with the Xinfadi market "basically under control" on Wednesday. 

Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital, also hailed Beijing's measures to contain the virus spread.

"Beijing is actively source tracing and screening to minimize the risk of missed tests, which could also allow patients to be detected and treated as soon as possible," he told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

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