Beijing locks down community with new COVID-19 case, rolls out testing for 7,000 households

By Wan Lin Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/28 19:33:29

The first two Foton sampling vehicles to facilitate COVID-19 nucleic acid tests are put into operation in Beijing's Chaoyang and Xicheng districts. Photo: cnsphoto

Beijing locked down the community where a new COVID-19 patient was reported on Tuesday, breaking the city's 21-day run of zero infections. The community lifted its epidemic response from Level-III to Level-II and rolled out full testing for all 7,000 households, starting from 5 am on Tuesday.

She was put under medical observation on July 24 as a close contact of confirmed patients in Jinzhou, another city in Liaoning, Pang Xinghuo, a deputy director of Beijing's municipal center for disease prevention and control, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Global Times reporter found on site that Tiantongyuan West No.3 community, located in Beijing's Changping district, where the patient had stayed, is under strict restriction, with all indoor public walkways shut down. No visitors, food or package delivery are allowed to enter. Residents have to show proof of residency at the entrance.

The apartment building where the patient stayed is completely blocked off. All households in the 30-story building are required to undergo quarantine at home and can get food and other daily necessities with the help of community workers and volunteers by messaging or calling them, the Global Times learned from the residential committee on Tuesday. 

The community, with 30 residential buildings, put up two temporary nucleic acid testing camps overnight on Monday, and started the testing with households from the high-risk building where the patient lives.  

A resident from the community, surnamed Yan, told the Global Times that he was informed on Monday night to register online for the testing which started at 5 am.  

He said he had heard the rumors about the suspected case on Monday but did not expect it to be confirmed so fast. "From confirming the case to carrying out full testing, the response was prompt," he said. 

The testing for the households from the concerned building finished around 6:30 am, while testing for other residents started at 8 am.

By noon on Tuesday, around 2,000 samples have been collected, a testing staff told the Global Times, noting that the testing will try to cover all the households in one day. 

Standing in the middle of a long line of people waiting to be tested, a resident surnamed Qin, said that she was called back for the test while she was half way to work in the morning. 

Asked if she was worried there would be an outbreak in the wider community, Qin said no.  

"Reports about the patient's movements showed that she basically stayed in the apartment since she arrived in the community, and she was quarantined at an isolation center way before she was confirmed positive, so I'm not that worried about the virus spreading," said Qin, noting that the rapid full-scale testing in the community was helping alleviate residents' concerns.  

Qin's sentiment was echoed by many other residents.

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus