UPDATE: Shanghai escalates a residential compound to medium risk after one local COVID-19 case found
Published: Aug 03, 2021 09:38 AM
Medical staff members work at the Pudong airport on Monday night. Photo: VCG

Medical staff members work at the Pudong airport on Monday night. Photo: VCG

Shanghai escalated a residential compound in Pudong New Area to medium-risk area after the city reported one new local coronavirus case on Tuesday, about six months since the city saw its last local infection. 

The case is not related to the new wave of the Delta variant in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, Shanghai health commission said on Tuesday.

All the residents in the community were tested overnight on Monday. Residents and vehicles outside the community are now not allowed to enter the area. Residents are still able to access daily necessities through delivery services that are following strict prevention measures.

The local patient, 53, is a driver providing services for foreign cargos at the cargo terminal of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. His nucleic acid test for COVID-19 came back positive on Monday. 

He hadn't left Shanghai 14 days before Monday, and his regular nucleic acid tests on July 21 and 28 were both negative. As of 9 am Tuesday, a total of 52 close contacts of this patient including six who are his family members have been traced and placed under quarantine at designated places, according to Shanghai authorities on Tuesday. Gene sequencing has been carried out and the result is yet to be announced.

Also, another 250 personnel close to these people have all been under quarantine at designated places and so far their nucleic acid tests were negative, Shanghai authorities said on Tuesday.

As of 9 am Tuesday, 64,860 people have taken nucleic acid tests, with 27,174 persons testing negative, and the rest of them are still awaiting their test results.

The places the patient had visited, including a residential community in Pudong and two restaurants, have all been disinfected.

The only standard for COVID-19 prevention is that whether residents can live a normal life, according to Zhang Wenhong, China leading infectious disease specialist.

Three hospitals and health centers including the Pudong People's Hospital have suspended outpatient and emergency services on Monday. All the staff have taken tests and returned negative results so far.

413 samples related to the patient have been collected and tested negative.

Apart from wearing masks, taking temperatures and filling out epidemiological investigation questionnaires, all the personnel entering local hospitals are required to present both health QR codes and travel QR codes to show whether they have been to medium- or high-risk areas, ensuring high-risk personnel are identified as soon as possible and nucleic acid tests are carried out as early as possible. 

Besides, nucleic acid testing for newly admitted inpatients and their escorts shall be strictly implemented. In principle, no escorts or visitors are allowed if not necessary. 

After the hospital infection broke out at The Sixth People's Hospital of Zhengzhou in Central China's Henan Province, which exposed loopholes of management at some hospitals, Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission stressed during a press briefing on Tuesday that Shanghai will safeguard the bottom line of prevention and control of hospital-acquired infections. Specific stricter preventative measures have been introduced during the press briefing including increasing nucleic acid tests frequency for medical staff. 

Shanghai has tightened its management over people arriving and returning to the city. All personnel from high-risk areas are required to go through a 14-day centralized quarantine and two nucleic acid tests and all personnel from medium-risk areas are required to go through a strict 14-day community health observation and two nucleic acid tests.

Nearly 50,000 staff took nucleic acid tests on Monday at Pudong airport and all the related regions were disinfected. At the airport, 25 temporary sampling sites were set up, with each site having 10 medical staff members. Each member would test around 60 people an hour, according to media reports. Over 500 medical workers arrived at the site on Monday night.

Along with medical workers, many staff members were working on the site to keep order to prevent cross infection.

As of Monday, of all the 372 local cases, 364 have been discharged from hospital and one is still hospitalized. There have been seven local fatalities. No suspected local cases were reported, the Shanghai health commission said.