Lockdown remains in Xinjiang's capital despite no confirmed COVID-19 cases for 2 days

By Liu Caiyu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/18 16:52:27

Qiu Tingting (R) transports the collected garbage of the residents in quarantine at Renminlunan Community, Tianshan District of Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 6, 2020. Qiu Tingting, 33, the secretary of the Renminlunan Community branch of the Communist Party of China, has been working tirelessly in the community during the COVID-19 epidemic. Residents in this community regard Qiu and her colleagues as "community servants at the frontline of epidemic prevention and control" for their careful and thoughtful work. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)

Thirty-three days after Urumqi, the capital city of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, reported its first COVID-19 patient in a fresh wave of the outbreak, the city is seeing signs of the outbreak easing, as zero confirmed infections were reported for the second consecutive day on Monday.

The region registered only one new asymptomatic case in Urumqi, capital of the region, on Monday.

Zhang Yuexin, a medical expert who is part of Xinjiang's anti-epidemic team, told the Global Times that two days of zero confirmed cases does not mean the battle against the novel coronavirus is over, but it's a good sign.

"We will wait for another incubation period of 14 days before Urumqi should consider lifting its restrictions and community lockdown. If no new patients are found in this period, Urumqi can declare victory over this wave of the epidemic."

Urumqi on Monday reported zero confirmed cases and only one silent carrier, according to local health authorities on Tuesday.

After COVID-19 patients were discovered in mid-July, Urumqi entered into "wartime mode" to fight against COVID-19, sealing all local residential communities and banning all gatherings. The restrictions have yet to be lifted.

Zhang attributed the two consecutive days of zero confirmed cases in Urumqi to the government's effective anti-epidemic measures, which included widespread testing and prompt community lockdowns.

Urumqi spent a great deal of effort in finding COVID-19 patients in local communities by giving at least two free nucleic acid tests each to its 3.5 million people, the Global Times learnt from locals. Some residents in key neighborhoods where COVID-19 patients were previously reported were given tests every five days. 

According to the local health authority, Xinjiang still has 354 confirmed patients in hospitals and 124 silent carriers. 

Between July 15 and Monday, 472 confirmed patients were discharged from hospitals and 114 asymptomatic patients were relieved from medical observation.

Currently, there are 8,538 people under medical observation in the region. 

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