National medical team dispatched to Xinjiang responding to epidemic: China CDC official

By Xu Keyue Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/18 17:04:17

File photo: VCG

The National Health Commission (NHC) dispatched a medical expert team on Saturday to Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to investigate the epidemic amid a spike of domestic COVID-19 cases, the deputy director general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) told the Global Times. 

Feng Zijian, deputy director general of China CDC said Xinjiang is now conducting an investigation over the source and route of infection regarding the confirmed cases as the region has reported 17 cases in the past two days after 149 clear days of no infection.

An expert team led by officials from China's NHC went to Xinjiang on Saturday, Feng said, noting that the scale of the epidemic in Xinjiang is unclear and needs further field investigations.

Xinjiang has seen a spike of local cases as it reported one confirmed case on Thursday and 16 on Friday, according to Chinese health authorities.

Apart from the national medical team, another team of 21 medical staff members from Wuhan, the city in Central China's Hubei Province once hit hardest by the coronavirus, on Saturday morning flied to Xinjiang to assist the fight against the epidemic.

The team is led by Wuhan's veteran doctors who are experienced in dealing with coronavirus cases.

The team carried medical detection instruments including nucleic acid detection kits, extraction apparatuses and PCR-Cyclers.

The team is expected to begin carrying out nucleic acid testing after arriving in Xinjiang.

A team of 21 medical staff members from East China's Jiangsu Province also flied to Xinjiang on Saturday to provide assistance in nucleic acid testing as the city is conducting full-scale screening of potential infections following a resurgence of coronavirus cases. 

After the public health emergency, Xinjiang's capital Urumqi has suspended public transport, implemented closed management for residential communities. Many stranded tourists are also waiting to take nucleic acid tests before going outside.

Before the epidemic rebound, Xinjiang had reported one of the fewest caseloads in the country - 76 in China's administrative regions. The region fully resumed work, production and normal life on March 11.

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