Prosecutors, police investigate health club for super-spreader event in NE China
Published: Jan 28, 2021 05:45 PM

A medical worker checks the bar code of a testing kit for COVID-19 screening at a residential area in Dongchang District of Tonghua, northeast China's Jilin Province, Jan. 25, 2021. Tonghua on Monday launched the third round of citywide nucleic acid testing. (Xinhua/Xu Chang)

Prosecutors and police in Tonghua, Northeast China's Jilin Province, are investigating a local health club where a super-spreader event took place that caused at least 139 COVID-19 infections directly or indirectly.

The owner of the health club, Yuansheng Quality Life Workshop, was suspected of impeding the prevention and control of infectious diseases. 

According to an announcement by the local procuratorate in Tonghua on Thursday, the COVID-19 cluster in the city was started by an asymptomatic patient from Heilongjiang, where the local outbreak occurred earlier. 

The patient, surnamed Lin, was employed on January 9 by the health club in Tonghua to carry out promotional events for linseed oil products. He was identified as a silent coronavirus carrier on January 12, the day Jilin's outbreak started, and became a confirmed case on January 17. At least 139 people were infected by Lin directly or indirectly after he attended four promotional events in two clubsin Jilin Province. 

The announcement said the procuratorate in Tonghua began looking into the investigation of the superspreading case in advance on Friday after the local public security bureau began investigating the case on January 17. 

The patients infected by Lin are mostly middle-aged and elderly people who attended the promotional events. They are mainly from Tonghua, Gongzhuling and Changchun. 

Jilin has one COVID-19 high risk region, the Dongchang district in Tonghua where the health club that employed Lin is located, and five medium-risk regions as of Thursday. 

The province reported nine new confirmed cases on Thursday, including six from Tonghua and three from Changchun. 

Global Times