Update: China Reports New Covid Flare-Ups in Anhui, Liaoning
China reported at least six locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in two days since Thursday in eastern China’s Anhui province and northeast China’s Liaoning, fueling fears of virus resurgence after the country held local infections at zero since late April.
Liaoning province reported two local cases Friday following at least four cases recorded in Anhui over the past two days. A handful of asymptomatic cases was also found in the two regions. The source of the new outbreaks has yet to be confirmed.
The new flare-ups were the first local transmissions in China since April 20, when the country recorded two such infections in the southwestern province of Yunnan, where a city on the border with Myanmar reported a new cluster in late March.
As of 7 p.m. Friday, Liaoning’s two locally transmitted cases and three asymptomatic infections were all found in the city of Yingkou, the provincial health authority said (link in Chinese). The province also found one imported case among inbound travelers during the day. Authorities didn't disclose details of the new patients.
Liaoning, home to nearly 43 million people, has reported a total of 411 Covid-19 cases since the outbreak started, official data showed.
Among the four new infections reported in Anhui since Thursday, two of the patients traveled to Yingkou, according to Anhui officials.
The Bayuquan district in Yingkou, where the two Anhui patients visited, imposed travel restrictions Friday afternoon, while Lu’an city in Anhui where the first case was detected started mass virus testing of 600,000 residents.
Lu’an health officials said Friday night that 420,000 people were tested between 9 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday, turning up nine positive results, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The city has so far recorded three confirmed cases and seven asymptomatic cases.
Wu Guangjin, director of Lu’an’s health commission, said the virus is likely to have been imported from other provinces as the city hasn’t recorded any infections since mid-February 2020.
The National Health Commission sent a team of experts to Anhui to study the outbreak.
Two of the earliest recent cases in Anhui — involving patients surnamed Li and Zhang — were reported Thursday. A third case, surnamed Lü, was reported Friday.
The patient Li, 27, was previously in close contact with a recent arrival from overseas in Dalian, a port city in Liaoning, according to the Anhui Health Commission (link in Chinese). She traveled from Dalian to Hefei, Anhui’s capital, May 1.
However, the Dalian authorities said (link in Chinese) Li hadn’t been in contact with any recent arrivals during her stay in the city between April 26 and May 1. The Dalian authorities said that while she was in Liaoning province, she also traveled to Yingkou. The local authorities said their investigation found that Li wore a face mask while at Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport when she was arriving and leaving the city, except while dining.
Patient Zhang, 29, lives in the Anhui city of Lu’an and had not left the province recently. She was in close contact with Li during a training class Li led at the photography studio at which Zhang works, the Anhui health authorities said (link in Chinese). Another patient also attended the training.
Lü, 31, is Li’s colleague, the Hefei health commission said. On Monday, Lü traveled from Beijing to Hefei, where she stayed with Li, local authorities said.
As of Thursday, the Chinese mainland recorded a total of 90,815 Covid-19 cases with death toll of 4,636.
Contact reporters Han Wei (email@example.com), Wang Xintong (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Joshua Dummer (email@example.com) and Bob Simison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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