CHINA / SOCIETY
Beijing reports two positive COVID-19 cases, including ride-hailing driver
Published: Jan 10, 2021 07:07 PM


An employee at DiDi Chuxing sprays disinfectant in a DiDi driver's car on March 13 in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. Beijing on Saturday reported one newly confirmed COVID-19 case and one asymptomatic case. The asymptomatic case is the confirmed patient's son, aged 27, who works as an online ride-hailing driver. He tested positive for coronavirus when he accompanied his father to the doctor's on Friday. Photo: cnsphoto



Beijing on Saturday reported one newly confirmed COVID-19 case and one asymptomatic case, both of whom live in the city's Shunyi district, local health authorities said at a press briefing on Sunday. The asymptomatic patient is a ride-hailing driver, and a total of 359 close contacts have been tracked down so far. 

The confirmed patient is a 51-year-old man living in Shunyi district, where the capital's international airport is located and the recent cluster of infections in December was reported. He suffered a fever starting from Wednesday, but only went to a clinic for a medical examination two days later. 

The asymptomatic case is the confirmed patient's son, aged 27, who works as an online ride-hailing driver. He tested positive for coronavirus when he accompanied his father to the doctor's on Friday. 

The two patients have been sent to the designated Beijing Ditan Hospital for treatment. 

The local health authorities said at a press briefing on Sunday that 144 passengers who travelled in the driver's car have been identified as close contacts, and a total of 359 close contacts of the two cases have been tracked down. 

Movement tracking of the two patients suggests that they have visited seven districts in Beijing, namely Shunyi, Changping, Huairou, Fengtai, Haidian, Dongcheng and Chaoyang, the latter two being home to a large density of people in the city. It has also been reported that the asymptomatic driver attended a wedding in Central China's Henan Province on December 24.

Facing the growing risks and concerns over taxi drivers, the Beijing Commission of Transport has rolled out a series of stricter anti-virus measures for online ride-hailing and taxi drivers, requiring all drivers to take nucleic acid tests and receive inoculation of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Ride-hailing services in Shunyi district have been temporarily suspended, with the exception of those travelling to Beijing Capital International Airport. 

Passengers in cars should scan health codes, and register their movements. 

In response to cases of drivers being confirmed over the past few days, the local law enforcement department has fined the primary car-hailing online platform Didi, and its subsidiary app Huaxiaozhu, for not abiding by epidemic prevention rules, said an official on Sunday. 

Didi was fined 1.07 million yuan ($165,240) for 96 violations, and Huaxiaozhu 340,000 yuan for 12 violations. 

A number of communities in Shunyi issued notices on Sunday requiring negative COVID-19 test results for entering. A resident in one local community told media that test results more than three days old are no longer valid. 

Global Times


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