Chengdu on high alert after domestic COVID-19 cases found in nine months

By Zhao Yusha and Cui Fandi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/7 13:54:13 Last Updated: 2020/12/7 18:54:13

A resident of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, takes a nucleic acid test on Thursday. A Shenzhen resident tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The patient is a close contact of a Hong Kong-based truck driver, who was confirmed to be infected on Tuesday. Photo: VCG

The city of Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, is on high alert after a reporting two local COVID-19 cases on Monday. The local government sealed off the hospital where the first patient received treatment, conducted an overall epidemiological survey, traced and quarantined all close contacts of the patient, and arranged a large-scale nucleic acid test procedure for local residents.

The first patient, a 69-year-old woman surnamed Lu who lives in the Pidu district, was diagnosed as having COVID-19 on Monday. She showed the onset of coronavirus symptoms such as coughing the previous day. No information was released on how she contracted the virus.

Lu's husband was also confirmed positive later on Monday and the status of the community where they live has been lifted to medium risk.

After months without any confirmed domestic cases, Chengdu is now on high alert. The local government sealed off the Pidu District People's Hospital, where the woman had received treatment, as well as a farmers market, which media reported that Lu had visited on Sunday, and the neighborhood where she lives. 

The woman has been transferred to a public health clinical center for quarantine and treatment. 

The local government has set up three nucleic acid testing sites nearby and is asking people who recently visited the hospital or the neighborhood to take a free nucleic acid test by Tuesday.

A citizen in Pidu told the Global Times that many people are lining up to be tested at the designated sites, and there is no panic.

Another Pidu resident surnamed Yang told the Global Times that local unofficial announcements had said that Lu came back to Pidu from outside the province weeks ago, and she had been experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, but never went to a hospital to take a nucleic acid test until Monday. 

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