CHINA / SOCIETY
Changchun reports first community-level infections related to previous in-hospital transmission
Published: Sep 07, 2022 02:04 AM
A resident receives a nucleic acid test at a testing site in Longhua District of Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, Aug. 7, 2022. The Chinese mainland Saturday reported 337 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 297 were in Hainan, the National Health Commission said Sunday. Photo: Xinhua

A resident receives a nucleic acid test at a testing site in Longhua District of Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, Aug. 7, 2022. The Chinese mainland Saturday reported 337 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 297 were in Hainan, the National Health Commission said Sunday. Photo: Xinhua



 
Changchun, Northeast China’s Jilin Province, reported its first community-level COVID-19 cases associated with a previous in-hospital transmission on Monday, five days after reporting the in-hospital transmission.

Changchun reported 19 asymptomatic infections on Monday, two of which were close contacts of previously reported in-hospital transmission cases, and two of which were identified during mass screening in high-risk areas.

The new infections reported in Changchun yesterday evolved from hospital patients, chaperones and staff to their close contacts and those from the mass screening, suggesting that there has been a "spillover" of infections from the in-hospital transmission, virologist Chang Rongshan was quoted as saying in an article in the Chinese medical magazine Medical Community on Tuesday.

Whether there will be more community-level cases in the coming days may determine the situation of the Changchun outbreak, the article said.

According to the Medical Community article, Changchun Infectious Diseases Hospital is the fourth hospital in China to report in-hospital transmission in China since the COVID-19 epidemic broke out. 

It is not yet clear what may have led to the in-hospital transmission, or what was the source of the infection and the channels of infection.

In December 2021, Caijing magazine quoted an informed source who said that two hospitals that reported in-hospital transmission of COVID-19, in East China’s Qingdao and South China’s Guangzhou, both had imperfect overall hospital design, which may have been to blame for the in-hospital transmission.

Currently, Changchun has not taken measures such as static management at the city level. Students in primary and secondary schools are taking online classes, and universities are temporarily under closed management. Officials on Sunday said that there would be no mass closure of key public places such as supermarkets and markets.

As of Monday, Changchun had reported a total of 207 infections in the current round of the outbreak. The city has conducted five consecutive rounds of regional nucleic acid testing and no community transmission cases have been found. 

The chain of transmission in the current round of the COVID-19 outbreak in Changchun is clear, but the situation still requires vigilance, officials said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Seven Changchun officials have already been punished for the COVID-19 outbreak, including the vice mayor, the director of the city's health commission and the vice directors of the Changchun Infectious Diseases Hospital.