CHINA / SOCIETY
Shanghai reports 3 local COVID-19 confirmed cases since Nov, screens 14,411 contacts
Published: Jan 21, 2021 06:37 PM

A Shanghai hospital conducts COVID-19 testing on its staffers on January 21, 2021. (photo: Yang Hui/GT)

Shanghai found three local confirmed COVID-19 cases in its downtown Huangpu and Xuhui districts on Thursday, two months since the last local case was reported in the city, the municipal health authorities said Thursday. 

Despite the resurfacing of local confirmed cases in the city with the Chinese lunar new year quickly approaching, health authority and experts in Shanghai said they are optimistic with the local COVID-19 epidemic situation, and remain confident with the city's virus prevention work.

The three patients have been transferred to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center for treatment, Shanghai Municipal Health Commission said at a press briefing on Thursday.

A residential community in Huangpu district, where two of the patients live, has been classified as a medium-risk area for COVID-19, it said.

The city has traced 71 close contacts of the three patients, and 14,411 people who might have come into contacts with them or had overlapping travel histories, the commission said. 

As of Thursday afternoon, 37 of the 71 close contacts and 10,971 of the 14,411 related people had tested negative for COVID-19 in their first round of nucleic acid testing, and the remaining number are still being tested, said Wu Jinglei, head of the commission.

The test results are optimistic so far in the eyes of local epidemic-fighting experts. "It would have been normal if we found dozens of positive cases in the several thousand samples we traced," Zhang Wenhong, a prominent Chinese infectious disease expert and leader of a team of experts fighting COVID-19 in Shanghai, said on Thursday. "But all the contacts of the three patients have tested negative up to now."

It shows that many people have developed good habits in fighting COVID, such as wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, Zhang said.

Zhang noted that he is confident that Shanghai can beat the virus. "I believe that we will be able to spend a safe, happy Chinese New Year," he added.

Among the three newly reported cases, two are males and neighbors.. They work at Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center (Xuhui division) and Renji Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (western division) as supporting personnel, according to local health commission.

The third patient is a female friend of one of the above-mentioned confirmed patient, it said.

A residential compound on Zhaotong Road in Huangpu district, where two patients live, has been classified as a medium-risk area forCOVID-19, the commission said.

Instead of staying at home, residents of this compound will be arranged to stay in hotels for a 14-day centralized quarantine, as the compound is old and may be inconvenient for some people to stay in for such a long time, the Huangpu government said at the press conference.

The two hospitals involved suspended their outpatient services on Thursday and all the medical staffers and related personnel at all the hospitals across Shanghai will take nucleic acid tests on Thursday. 

Chinese mainland reported 144 new COVID-19 confirmed cases, including 126 locally transmitted ones registered on Wednesday, health authorities said on Thursday. Most of these cases were found in Northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces as well as North China's Hebei Province. 

Global Times


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