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August 6, 2020

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COVID-19 contained in Urumqi, Dalian

A HEALTH official said yesterday that China has effectively contained the rapid expansion of COVID-19 cases in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Dalian in Liaoning Province in the northeast.

Experts have been working to isolate the virus and confirm its genome sequence, said Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health Commission, said.

Since late July, cluster infections have been reported in Urumqi and Dalian. From July 16 to August 4, a total of 670 confirmed cases had been reported in Xinjiang and 90 in Liaoning Province, said Jiao.

The new round of COVID-19 epidemic in the two places has several things in common, including a rapid rise in the initial stages, Jiao said. Besides, the average age of confirmed patients in Xinjiang was only 35 and that in Dalian 41. Most patients showed mild or normal symptoms, Jiao added.

The two places conducted epidemiological investigations rapidly and improved their nucleic acid testing capabilities, Jiao said.

Meanwhile, Hangzhou, the capital city of the eastern Zhejiang Province, reported a new asymptomatic patient yesterday who had traveled from Xinjiang via Shanghai.

Shanghai’s authorities have released the man’s travel itinerary in the city. The 19-year-old university student showed no symptoms when he took a flight from Urumqi to Shanghai’s Hongqiao airport. He arrived at 11:30pm on July 13. After spending two nights in a Jinjiang Inn hotel in Changning District, he took a G7315 high-speed train to Hangzhou.

The person went to a hospital for eye treatment and was due to be hospitalized for surgery. He tested positive on Tuesday before the surgery and was diagnosed as an asymptomatic infector of coronavirus yesterday.

Four close contacts in Shanghai have been tracked and all of them are healthy. All the places he had been to are being disinfected.

The global toll from the coronavirus surpassed 700,000 yesterday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities.

Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from COVID-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks. That equates to 247 people per hour, or one person every 15 seconds.


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