BEIJING: China’s health authority on Tuesday reported 29 newly confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 13 in the capital Beijing where 249 virus affected people are undergoing treatment.
According to the China’s National Health Commission, 29 new cases, including seven asymptomatic cases, were reported in the country on Monday.
As of Monday, 99 asymptomatic cases were still under medical observation, it said. Beijing mass testing of millions of residents is on after a new cluster of cases emerged in late May.
Beijing reported 13 newly confirmed domestically-transmitted Covid-19 cases, two suspected infections and one asymptomatic on Monday, the municipal health commission said on Tuesday.
From June 11 to 22, Beijing has reported 249 confirmed domestically-transmitted cases, all of whom were receiving treatment in hospitals, it said.
Twenty-two asymptomatic cases are still under medical observation, it said. Xu Hejian, spokesman for the municipal government told the media on Monday that Beijing has effectively kept the coronavirus outbreak from spreading and new local cases are decreasing as the capital uses multiple measures to reduce infections.
“Beijing has contained the spread of Covid-19 cases,” Xu said, adding that the epidemic may be showing signs of abating.
However, strict measures will remain in place because ending the outbreak remains a complicated task.
In the next step, Beijing will continue to implement the strict control and prevention network created in key areas such as restaurants, hospitals and schools. The city also will strengthen food safety controls and increase its nucleic acid testing ability, he said.
Wu Hao, a disease control expert from the National Health Commission, said Beijing is expected to see a big drop in new cases by the end of this week.
“If you control the source, and cut the chain of transmission, the number will have a cliff-like drop,” he said in an interview with China Central Television on Sunday. “Beijing didn’t choose to do a ‘flood-type’ lockdown like Wuhan earlier this year when we knew little about the virus.”
Beijing has taken “more targeted lockdown procedures this time, which has set an example for other places for normalised virus prevention”.
So far Beijing has designated four communities as high-risk and 39 as medium-risk for epidemic control. This represents targeted measures to contain the spread of the virus, including locking down communities in high-risk zones.
Pang Xinghuo, deputy head of the Beijing Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, re-emphasised the importance of hand-washing and social distancing at Monday’s news conference.
As of Saturday, about 2.3 million people in the capital had been tested for the novel coronavirus, the Beijing Health Commission said.
By Monday the overall confirmed cases in China had reached 83,418, including 359 patients who were still being treated, with 13 in severe condition.
Altogether 78,425 people had been discharged after recovery and 4,634 people had died of the disease, NHC said.