Epidemic situation in S China's Hainan reaches a turning point, with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases declining
Published: Aug 22, 2022 01:03 AM
A stranded tourist checks in at Haikou Meilan International Airport in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, August 14, 2022. Photo: Xinhua
A stranded tourist checks in at Haikou Meilan International Airport in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, August 14, 2022. Photo: Xinhua News Agency

With the continuous decline in the number of confirmed cases, the epidemic situation in South China's Hainan Province has already reached a turning point at the moment, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said during her recent inspection trip to the southern island province on Sunday, adding that the epidemic prevention and control situation in Hainan is improving steadily.

Hainan reported 440 confirmed cases and 625 asymptomatic cases on Saturday, according to local health authorities. A total of 7,144 local confirmed cases have been reported in the province since this round of outbreak on August 1.

Earlier this month, the rapidly spreading Omicron BA5.1.3 variant that was reported for the first time domestically triggered several cities in Hainan to impose what officials call "static management," in a bid to cut off the fast transmission chain.

Moreover, more than 177,900 tourists from all over the country were briefly stranded on this tranquil tropic isle under static management due to the recent epidemic flare-up as of August 10, read a report from

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan inspected COVID-19 epidemic control work in virus-hit Hainan Province from August 13 to 21 and urged better resource coordination, firm and decisive measures to achieve zero cases at the community level as soon as possible.

Sun inspected Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Sanya COVID-19 prevention and control command center, a community and a makeshift hospital to learn about the local command of epidemic control, arrangement for stranded tourists, virus control at communities and treatment at the hospital.

Sun also urged efforts to coordinate resources within the province for ensuring testing capacity, makeshift hospital beds and quarantine rooms, enhancing support for places hit the hardest.

Medical teams have been sent to Hainan by 19 provincial-level governments, which will boost the province's daily testing capability to 2.4 million tubes per day. The joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council has also been mobilized. In addition, more than 163,000 stranded passengers have been arranged to return home.

At present, the number of infections in the province has declined for three consecutive days and the reproduction number of COVID-19 in Sanya has dropped to 0.9, Xinhua reported, noting that the transmission chains in the province have been basically cut off, and some heavily affected counties have already achieved zero COVID-19 community transmission.

The sample collection, testing, reporting and hospitalizing process should be optimized, pointed the vice premier. She also raised the requirement of tracking a positive case within 8 hours while guaranteeing residents' basic living needs and medical service needs.

Sun also visited the central fishing port of Yazhou district, which is considered the epicenter of the latest outbreak in Sanya, and called for strengthened nucleic acid testing to ensure early prevention, early detection and treatment. Sun also called for greater awareness among fishermen to protect themselves from the virus.

Hainan is now in a critical period of epidemic prevention and control, and it is necessary to further coordinate social resources to eliminate the epidemic as soon as possible, Sun remarked.

Global Times