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Shulan to boost lockdown as cases rise

By WANG XIAOYU | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-19 09:26
A volunteer scans the QR code for health check of a resident at a community in Fengman district of Jilin city, Northeast China's Jilin province, May 17, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Communities with confirmed, suspected carriers are barring residents from exiting

The local government in Shulan, Jilin province, announced on Monday plans to step up its lockdown measures by tightening movement control in all residential areas as the number of new cases in a COVID-19 cluster that was first detected there continues to rise.

Starting from noon Monday, residential blocks that have seen confirmed or suspected cases are barring residents from leaving and nonresidents from entering. Daily necessities will be delivered by local supermarkets, according to a notice released by Shulan's epidemic control leading group on Monday.

In other residential compounds and villages, each family can send one member to purchase products every two days, and one trip outside should last no longer than two hours, the notice said.

Shulan is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Jilin city in Jilin province. Shulan added one new domestic infection on Sunday, bringing the total number of locally transmitted cases to 19 since May 7, when the first case was detected.

Before the latest movement restriction, Shulan had already rolled out a series of epidemic control measures, including suspending schools and halting public transportation, to contain the disease. It was classified as a high-risk area on May 10.

Jilin city reported two new domestic cases on Sunday, including the one in Shulan. Since May 7, the city has reported 34 confirmed domestic infections, according to the city government.

Yang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the Jilin city government, said the two confirmed cases added on Sunday were close contacts of confirmed cases that were already under centralized quarantine.

In order to balance epidemic control work with the public's medical needs, the city government is also ramping up management of its health institutions, adopting appointment-based systems and triage procedures, as well as thoroughly screening patients intended to be hospitalized, according to Yang.

Hospital wards have barred patients' family members and friends from visiting, and hospital workers will strengthen personal protections and monitoring of their body temperatures to stem cross infections, he said.

Elsewhere, Shanghai reported one new domestic case on Sunday involving a traveler from Qianjiang, Hubei province, the hardest-hit region in China.

China also reported four imported cases found in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Sunday, the National Health Commission said on Monday.

Mi Feng, the commission spokesman, said on Monday that the global tally for daily new confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 for the first time on Sunday, with the cumulative number reaching 4.52 million cases.

"The pressure to control imported infections continues to rise. Authorities should monitor the changes in the overseas epidemic situation as well as the possible increase in international travel and economic cooperation," he said.

"It is also important to ensure the screening of all incoming travelers, as well as those participating in transferring these travelers, and strengthen close-off management in order to prevent a new wave of domestic infections," he added.

According to the health commission of Inner Mongolia, the four confirmed cases were detected in flight passengers that were diverted from the Beijing Capital International Airport to the airport in its regional capital Hohhot.

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