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February 27, 2020

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New arrivals face tough checks

SHANGHAI will continue to strengthen health checks on new arrivals as the novel coronavirus epidemic spreads to many countries around the globe.

No new cases of coronavirus infection were reported in Shanghai in the latest 12 hours as of midday yesterday, when four patients were discharged upon recovery, said the Shanghai Health Commission.

So far, the city has reported no infections among foreign residents, though foreigners were involved in suspected cases, some of whom had been ordered into 14-day quarantine at their residence or in designated hospitals.

“There were foreigners, who were isolated at home or put under medical observation, and suspected cases in Shanghai before, but none of them were confirmed with the virus,” city government spokesman Xu Wei told a press conference yesterday.

With the increase in cases overseas, Shanghai is putting a high premium on preventing an incoming threat. “We are treating everyone entering Shanghai evenly and will continue to strengthen entry management measures,” Xu said.

According to Xu, people arriving in Shanghai will be required to fill in a health declaration card and have their temperature taken. The card asks about a person’s health status and whether he or she has been to Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

If anyone’s temperature turns out to be unusual, he or she will be taken to the nearest designated medical institute for further checks.

Home isolation of 14 days applies to those coming from or having passed through Hubei, or those who had contacts with people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Management will be strengthened at enterprises, residential communities and hotels involving foreign nationals who entered Shanghai recently. At other public places like metro stations, supermarkets and office buildings, strict temperature checks will be taken.

Xu said the city government has recently communicated with leaders of foreign invested companies in Shanghai.

So far, the city has reported 336 infections and ruled out 2,263 suspected cases, while releasing 272 patients.

According to the health commission, 49 patients are stable, three are in serious condition and nine critical. There have been three local fatalities so far. Another 77 suspected cases are undergoing tests.

There are more than 200,000 foreigners working in the city, the largest number of overseas employees in China.

Countries like South Korea, Japan and Italy have been reporting increased coronavirus cases recently. Some Chinese cities are taking corresponding measures to address the threat.

Suzhou City in neighboring Jiangsu Province issued a notice on Tuesday, requiring nationals from Japan and South Korea to go to their residential communities for self-reporting and take a 14-day home quarantine.

On Monday, Weihai in Shandong Province, started to quarantine arrivals from Japan and South Korea, which became the first country-specific compulsory quarantine requirement in China.


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