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August 5, 2021

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City case confirmed as Delta variant

Shanghai’s new COVID-19 case was confirmed as the hyper-contagious Delta variant and was not linked to other domestic cases, local health authorities said yesterday.

The patient had likely been exposed to the virus after removing his protective equipment in a contaminated area, the city’s disease control and prevention center said.

The 53-year-old man works at the Pudong International Airport’s cargo division and had not left Shanghai for two weeks before testing positive, the center said. The man transported crew members of foreign airlines’ cargo flights through a “close-loop” region at Pudong airport’s cargo transport section.

But he had removed his protective clothing on July 22-23 and likely exposed himself to the virus.

The origin of the virus in Shanghai is not related to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in other Chinese cities, according to Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission.

The man had no history of contact with people from high- and medium-risk regions from other cities, no travel history to those areas, as well as no contact with cold chain before he contracted the virus, Wu said.

A total of 67 close contacts of the patient have been tested twice. None of them were positive. Meanwhile, the nucleic acid test results of 68,517 people who were screened in Shanghai returned negative yesterday, authorities said.

There are156 facilities in Shanghai offering nucleic acid testing service, Wu revealed, adding that demand for tests had “seen an increase recently.”

“Current vaccines are still effective against the Delta variant.” Zhang Wenhong, leader of Shanghai’s COVID-19 treatment team, emphasized.

“At present, the most effective prevention measure is still to vaccinate oneself as soon as possible,” he insisted.

“The Delta variant is currently the major variant across the world, and epidemics in most of the countries are caused by it.”

He strongly suggested residents wear masks, wash their hands frequently, keep social distance and visit a clinic if they show signs of fever.

So far, more than 18.8 million people in the city have completed COVID-19 vaccination.


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