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Hidden infection risks still in Beijing

By DU JUAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-05-04 07:32
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A medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid testing in Daxing district, Beijing, capital of China, April 30, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Beijing still has hidden infection risks at the community level, with the total number of COVID-19 cases hitting 453 as of Tuesday, according to a senior city official.

Residents in Beijing's medium and high-risk areas, as well as those in lockdown and controlled zones, should not leave the city in order to prevent virus transmission, city authorities said on Tuesday.

The same policy applies to people who live in communities, towns and villages where one or more confirmed COVID-19 case has been reported, said Tian Wei, an official from Beijing's information office at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

"People who have received a risk alert from Beijing Jiankangbao-a mobile-based app used to check health codes and provide nucleic acid testing services, should not leave Beijing," he added.

Other residents should not leave the city unless absolutely necessary. Those who have to leave the city should first have negative nucleic acid test results from within 48 hours before departure.

After the five-day Labour Day holiday, workers must also have negative nucleic acid test results taken within 48 hours before returning to work.

Li Yi, spokesperson for Beijing's education commission, said on Tuesday, that students of kindergartens, primary and middle schools will not go back to campus after the holiday in order to prevent infection risks. The return date will be decided according to the epidemic situation in the near future.

Beijing reported 53 new locally transmitted confirmed cases between 3 pm on Monday and 3 pm on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 453 since April 22. The infections involve 14 districts, according to the Beijing CDC.

Among the new infections, 50 were reported from controlled zones and three were found during the nucleic acid testings in communities, said Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing CDC.

She said hidden infection risks still exist at the community level, and so require the authority to accelerate mass nucleic acid testings to curb transmission.

One person infected with COVID-19 during the ongoing outbreak in Beijing passed the virus on to three people after visiting a public toilet several times, which later led to nearly 40 infections along the transmission chain.

Pang urged people to wear masks that have a good level of protection and to wash hands properly after using public toilets.

She said the public should wear N95 or KN95 masks if going to hospital, visiting the elderly or with infants, fetching deliveries or packages, and going to crowded areas, in order to avoid infection risks.

Of the total 453 infections during the latest outbreak, Chaoyang district registered 183 cases, followed by Fangshan district, which has reported 117 cases since April 22.

During the same period, Tongzhou district reported 46 cases and Fengtai district reported 31 cases, she added.

Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, two more residential communities-one in Chaoyang and one in Fangshan, were designated as high-risk areas starting on Tuesday.


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