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Efforts to control spread of new virus stepped up in China

By WANG XIAOYU | | Updated: 2020-01-20 21:15

Local authorities across China have stepped up monitoring and screening efforts to control the spread of a new coronavirus strain that has sickened more than 200 people and killed three nationwide.

A total of three cases were reported on Monday outside Wuhan, where the contagious illness first emerged and had previously circulated inside the city since late December.

The Beijing Municipal Health Commission, who on Monday reported two new infections linked to the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, said medical institutions are required to increase screening to quickly single out suspected cases and strengthen their capability to detect infections, aiming at achieving "early diagnosis, early quarantine and early treatment" of the illness.

In Shenzhen, Guangdong province, where two confirmed cases are under treatment and eight suspected cases have been quarantined for treatment and more accurate diagnoses, passengers traveling through airports, piers, railways and bus stations will have their body temperatures taken on-site, in an attempt to step up screening efforts, according to the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission.

The commission added that instances of new infections in the city are expected to rise further, as the ongoing Spring Festival travel rush has significantly increased the migration of people between regions, spiking the risk of the disease's spread.

Zhejiang province in East China reported five suspected cases in four separate cities on Monday. It said on Monday that hospitals and disease control and prevention institutions across the province have added staffing in fever and other relevant departments to monitor and handle suspected patients appropriately.

Shanghai, China's economic hub, has ramped up testing and screening of patients displaying suspicious symptoms and begun tracking people who have had close contacts with suspected patients, according to the city's mayor Ying Yong.

"If new infections are confirmed in Shanghai, we will make timely reports to the public according to relevant laws and regulations," he said at a news conference held on Monday.

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