More imported cases of COVID-19 in Shanghai trigger new circuit break concerns

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/14 10:36:03


Shanghai on Friday reported 16 new imported cases of COVID-19, triggering concerns of a new round of "circuit breakers" concerning inbound international flights. Although the city has now reported new imported cases of COVID-19 for 11 consecutive days, Shanghai health commission claimed that the city has the ability to handle the current imported cases and the public needn't panic. 

The 16 imported cases are from Russia, the Philippines, the UAE, Zambia and the Cote d'Ivoire. The confirmed cases were receiving treatment in designated hospitals and their 253 close contacts have since been put under quarantine, the Shanghai Health Commission said in its daily bulletin on Friday.

Shanghai faces a heavy task to prevent the virus as data from information provider VariFlight showed that from August 1 to 11 the inbound international passenger flights (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) at Shanghai Pudong International Airport accounted for 24.92 percent of all flights to China.

An official from the Shanghai health commission told the Global Times that, "Shanghai is capable of handling the current imported cases based on experience gathered previously, and the public doesn't need to panic, as Shanghai has mature closed-loop management requirements for all inbound passengers."

The official added that currently one focus is on the overseas nucleic acid test procedure and the other is on the implementation of the flight circuit breaker mechanism.

Infographic: GT

Prevention and control of the imported cases of COVID-19 has become a challenge in China as the country has mostly controlled the epidemic domestically. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced award and punishment measures to inbound flights for airlines based on the number of imported cases in a certain period.

If all passengers on one airline route test negative for three consecutive weeks, the airline will be permitted to add one more flight. If five passengers on a flight test positive, the responsible airline will have to halt operations for a week, and if 10 test positive it must suspend operations for four weeks. 

The CAAC triggered three "circuit breakers" in one day on August 12 as passengers returned positive test results for COVID-19 on Etihad Airways flight EY862, China Eastern flight MU212 and Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL866. The flights will be suspended service for one week or two.

Following the resumption of overseas flights in June, more international carriers such as Air France, Air New Zealand and Delta Air Lines from European countries and the US are choosing Shanghai as their landing locations.

The Chinese mainland reported 30 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, of which 22 were imported, compared to 11 one day earlier, the country's health authority said on Friday. Of all 70 imported cases still hospitalized in Shanghai, 38 are from the UAE, 18 from the Philippines and two from Singapore.




blog comments powered by Disqus