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COVID-19 Cluster Spreads to Five Chinese Regions

BEIJING – A new group of coronaviruses in a port city in northeast China has spread to other provinces and prompted new restrictions, authorities said Monday, as Beijing struggles to prevent a second wave of infections.
China had controlled the virus primarily since it appeared in the country late last year, through a series of strict blockades and travel restrictions.
But in recent months, a series of small outbreaks have been caused for concern, and China reported 68 new infections on Tuesday, the highest daily number since April.
Of those, 57 were in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where an outbreak has seen millions of residents tested and strict blockades in the regional capital Urumqi.
Six more cases were also reported in the industrial port city of Dalian, Liaoning province, where a new outbreak first emerged at a seafood processing plant last week. This brings the total number of new infections in Dalian to 44.
Health authorities said Dalian’s group had spread to nine cities in five regions across the country, including in the southeastern coastal province of Fujian.
Fujian said the province’s capital Fuzhou would go into “war mode” after discovering an asymptomatic patient who had travelled from Dalian, 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) away.
The new measures mean greater scrutiny of travellers entering the city from virus critical points nationwide.
A new Beijing case reported Tuesday also related to an asymptomatic patient who had travelled from Dalian, the first new local case since a group in the capital was controlled in early July.
Twelve new asymptomatic cases were also reported in Dalian on Tuesday. China counts asymptomatic cases separately.
Local health authorities in Dalian said Sunday that they would mass assess the six million residents in four days and announced Monday that samples had already been taken from 1.68 million people.
Dalian authorities have also banned group celebration dining activities and have ordered customers to display a local “health code” when entering restaurants.
Across the country, 391 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19. There have been 83,959 infections in mainland China in total.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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