Ancient city Xi’an prepares for city-wide testing after seven elderly tourists from Shanghai test positive for COVID-19
Published: Oct 18, 2021 03:08 PM
The Xi'an Railway Station in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province conducts a nucleic acid test among tourists on Sunday. Photo: VCG

The Xi'an Railway Station in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province conducts a nucleic acid test among tourists on Sunday. Photo: VCG


Xi'an, the capital city of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, one of the country's treasure houses famous for underground relics, is preparing for a city-wide nucleic acid testing after seven elderly people including three couples traveled to the city from Shanghai all tested positive for COVID-19 during the weekend. 

The Xi'an city government announced on Monday morning that they will launch the city-wide nucleic testing at any time with reagents, materials and personnel to be fully deployed. 

Fears mount that the chain of transmission may be extended, as six confirmed local infections and one asymptomatic carrier in Shaanxi Province, one infection in Yinchuan in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, have been reported on Monday morning. 

The Shanghai couple surnamed Yan (wife) and Jiang (husband) aged 62 and 65 respectively are both retired university lecturers. They left Shanghai by airplane for Zhangye city in Northwest China's Gansu for traveling and transferred their flight in Xi'an in Shaanxi on October 9, Shaanxi health commission announced. 

Between October 9 and 15, they took a road trip in Gansu and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. On October 15, the couple were informed of their abnormal nucleic acid test results after they took a nucleic acid mixture test at the Jiayuguan Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital. But the couple still left the city without the knowledge of the local health authority. 

They flew back to Shaanxi again with their negative nucleic acid test results they obtained at a hospital in Inner Mongolia. They took a nucleic acid test at the Eighth Hospital of Xi'an on Saturday morning and traveled around the city, including many popular scenic spots. Their test results showed positive on Saturday evening. 

Apart from the Shanghai couple, another two couples and an elderly man all in their 60s and 70s, are close contacts of the Shanghai couple with whom they departed together from Shanghai and traveled together in other provinces. 

As of 8 am on Monday, a total of 1,553 close contacts of the seven infections have been tracked down in Xi'an with 1,133 testing negative. The remaining results are yet to come out. Another 457 contacts of the close contacts have been tracked down with 54 testing negative and the rest of the results still pending, according to Xi'an city government. 

Besides, the city has launched a screening in key places with a total of 33,777 people with a risk of infection across the city taking nucleic acid tests. Among them 20,481 tested negative as of 8 am on Monday. 

The city has been carrying out a close-loop management on a total of 18 venues in the areas where those who tested positive had visited. A total of 2,043 samples collected from the environment have tested negative and an area of 530,000 square meters has been disinfected. 

In Shanghai, a total of 308 people related to those infected have tested negative and 277 samples collected from the items and environment related to those infected have all tested negative as of 10 am on Monday.

The infection case in Yinchuan is a close contact of the Shanghai couple surnamed Ai who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning. Ai had met the Shanghai couple on October 9 and traveled together to Gansu between October 10 and 15. 

Besides, the local epidemic prevention and control authority in Suining, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, has been tracking down a close contact of the Shanghai couple since Sunday. The close contact surnamed Li traveled from Jiayuguan to Xi'an on October 15 on the same flight with the Shanghai couple. Jiayuguan city in Norwest China's Gansu Province launched a city-wide nucleic acid test from 8 am on Monday.

The first round of nucleic acid testing for key groups and environmental samples in three cities of Jiayuguan, Zhangye and Jiuquan, where the Shanghai couple had visited showed negative. 

A scenic spot in Gansu where the Shanghai couple had visited have been temporarily closed from Sunday evening to Wednesday. 

Global Times