Out­break in Bei­jing not wide­spread

Sec­ond round of COVID-19 epi­demic in China ‘un­likely to oc­cur’, expert says

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAOYU wangx­i­aoyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The re­cent COVID-19 out­break in Bei­jing is a lo­cal­ized and sud­den re­bound in new in­fec­tions and has not caused wide­spread trans­mis­sion, a lead­ing in­fec­tious dis­ease expert said.

To curb new in­fec­tions, the cap­i­tal has taken swift and tar­geted ac­tion, which has pro­vided au­thor­i­ties and med­i­cal work­ers with more ex­pe­ri­ence and has boosted their con­fi­dence that the city will avert a sec­ond wave, said Zhang Wen­hong, direc­tor of the depart­ment of in­fec­tious diseases at Huashan Hospi­tal Af­fil­i­ated to Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity in Shang­hai.

“Bei­jing has set a clear ex­am­ple that China will ward off a new wave of in­fec­tions — do­mes­tic or im­ported — through prompt and re­fined epi­demic con­trol re­sponse. A sec­ond round of the epi­demic in China is un­likely to oc­cur,” he said dur­ing an on­line we­bi­nar held by China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion on Tues­day night.

How­ever, Zhang also cau­tioned that in terms of the global sit­u­a­tion, a new wave of in­fec­tions is likely to have hit some re­gions or is about to.

“There is a high chance for a sec­ond wave glob­ally,” he said.

Bei­jing de­tected its first new do­mes­tic in­fec­tion in nearly two months on June 11 and has since re­ported 328 con­firmed cases by Tues­day. The ma­jor­ity of the in­fec­tions are tied to the Xin­fadi mar­ket, a ma­jor whole­sale food mar­ket in Feng­tai district.

Dur­ing the new out­break, Zhang said, the cap­i­tal has thor­oughly tracked down close con­tacts of all con­firmed in­fec­tions and clearly mapped out the trans­mis­sion routes through epi­demi­o­log­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“Such a tar­geted dis­ease con­trol ap­proach is a role model for the coun­try’s dis­ease con­trol work and sets a great ex­am­ple,” he said.

As a re­sult, the re­cent out­break in Bei­jing has been con­tained to a rel­a­tively small scope, and the num­ber of new daily in­fec­tions is trending down­ward.

“It con­sti­tutes a re­bound in new cases and does not amount to a sec­ond wave of epi­demic,” Zhang said.

Tong Zhao­hui, vice-president of

Bei­jing has set a clear ex­am­ple that China will ward off a new wave of in­fec­tions — do­mes­tic or im­ported — through prompt and re­fined epi­demic con­trol re­sponse.” Zhang Wen­hong,

Bei­jing Chaoyang Hospi­tal, said dur­ing the we­bi­nar that Bei­jing is on track to bring the re­cent out­break fully un­der con­trol and will soon re­sume nor­mal pro­duc­tion and daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

Tong said the con­di­tions of se­vere and crit­i­cal cases ad­mit­ted into Bei­jing Di­tan Hospi­tal is un­der con­trol. By Monday, Bei­jing Di­tan had re­ceived three crit­i­cal cases and four se­vere cases dur­ing the re­cent out­break in the cap­i­tal.

The first con­firmed case, a 52-year-old man praised for his metic­u­lous ac­counts of move­ment that helped epi­demi­ol­o­gists nar­row down the sources of in­fec­tion, has been trans­ferred to a nor­mal ward from the in­ten­sive care unit.

“He will be dis­charged from the hospi­tal shortly if his test re­sults come back neg­a­tive,” Tong said.

In Hubei prov­ince, the hard­est-hit re­gion in China, there have been no new do­mes­tic cases for more than 40 days.

Zhang Dingyu, vice-direc­tor of the Hubei pro­vin­cial health com­mis­sion and president of Wuhan Jiny­in­tan Hospi­tal, said that in Wuhan, the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal, all con­firmed in­fec­tions and asymp­to­matic cases have been re­leased, but its dis­ease con­trol and preven­tion ef­forts are not re­laxed.

“Based on the re­sults from the mas­sive test­ing cam­paign, the city is very safe, and its night life is now buzzing. But ev­ery res­i­dent has de­vel­oped a strong sense of epi­demic con­trol and is wear­ing masks in ac­cor­dance with the na­tional guide­line,” he said.

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