Beijing reports 2 new Covid-19 cases; students, staff in home quarantine after classmate’s father tests positive
Beijing reported two more confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the tally of new infections to three in less than a week after city authorities lowered the outbreak emergency response to level three, the second lowest.
The three new cases were reported in about 48 hour after Beijing went without a new domestic infection case for 55 days.
Two colleagues, both male, working at the China Meat Food Comprehensive Research Centre were diagnosed with the disease in the city’s Fengtai district, Beijing health authorities said on Friday.
Both patients, one 37, the other, 25, have been transferred to designated hospitals and medics are now carrying out contact tracing among the family, friends and remaining office workers who shared space with the two.
One of the two patients had also travelled to the city of Qingdao in the past week, the officials said.
Meanwhile, nearly 50 primary school students and teachers have been quarantined at home after a fourth-grader’s father was diagnosed with Covid-19 this week, the first locally transmitted case in Beijing reported in nearly two months.
The fear of a school-based cluster infection breaking out in Beijing as the city nears normalcy means health authorities have swung back into action with contact tracing.
It is still a mystery how the 52-year-old male patient Tang Moumou, resident of Beijing’s Xicheng district, was infected as he has told the authorities that he never left Beijing nor did he meet anyone from outside the city.
Tang’s son and another family member have tested negative for the coronavirus, a Beijing health official said on Friday.
However, the son’s classmates and teachers who have interacted with him have all been sent to home quarantine, to be spent under medical observation.
Under the emergency response plan, 33 other students in the class of Tang’s child and 15 faculty members who have been in contact with the class are all being observed at home.
Classrooms, toilets and other public areas in the school have been disinfected
Tang’s apartment complex has been put under “closed loop” management and entry and exit are now being monitored with temperature checks made mandatory.
Pang Xinghuo, deputy head of the Beijing Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the new case had “sounded the alarm for us that the risk of another outbreak exists all the time”.
“It reminds us to have a deep understanding of significance, complexity and uncertainty of the epidemic prevention and control in the capital. We must always tighten the string of epidemic prevention and control,” she said.
Beijing last Saturday downgraded its Covid-19 emergency response to level three, the second lowest.
However, following the new case, a meeting of the local government emphasised that the “…source of case flow tracing should be carried out strictly and quickly, the tracing time should be long enough, and the scope of close contact should be accurate enough to ensure that no one person is missed”.
Meanwhile, the Chinese health authority said Friday that it received reports of seven new confirmed Covid-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Thursday, of which six were imported from overseas.
Shanghai reported six new imported Covid-19 cases on Thursday including two Chinese nationals and four Pakistanis.
The two Chinese nationals departed from the US and India, arriving at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on June 8 and 9.
As of Thursday, according to the official news agency, Xinhua, the overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 83064, including 65 patients who were still being treated with no one in severe condition. Altogether 78,365 people had been discharged after recovery and 4,634 people had died of the disease.