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33 imported cases reported in Heilongjiang

By Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying in Harbin | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-07 07:47
A medical worker checks a driver's temperature, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, Feb 1, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Heilongjiang province reported 33 new imported confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday and Sunday, according to the provincial health commission.

All the new imported cases, including four in serious condition, were Chinese citizens returning from Russia.

After flying from Moscow to Vladivostok, one of the largest cities in Russia's Far East, they entered the Chinese mainland via the highway in the province's Suifenhe, about 190 kilometers from Vladivostok.

The patients are being treated in a local hospital, and all the passengers on the same flights have been sent to designated quarantine sites.

The provincial health commission reported no local residents had close contact with the infected returnees.

The province also reported 40 new imported asymptomatic cases over the weekend.

By Sunday, the province had a total of 42 imported confirmed cases and 60 imported asymptomatic cases. No new local cases have been reported.

Thirty-nine of the imported confirmed cases entered Heilongjiang via the highway in Suifenhe.

Due to a sudden influx of passengers, the city's capacity for testing and quarantine has been challenged, according to a statement on the city government website.

Because of those challenges, a government statement said, the highway port would be closed from Tuesday until April 13.

"Suifenhe is a county-level city with a population of less than 100,000," an anonymous local official was quoted by China Business Network as saying. "We don't have enough hotels to provide for the passengers' quarantine."

Medical aid teams from nearby regions have been organized, and some have arrived in the city, according to Suifenhe Daily on Sunday.

A 34-member team from Mudanjiang Hongqi Hospital arrived at Suifenhe People's Hospital on Sunday evening.

Without having a rest, the medical workers immediately began familiarizing themselves with the hospital and the work flow.

"The hospital sent experts from the departments of pneumology, ICU infections and pediatrics," Sun Tao, director of Hongqi Hospital's executive office, told Suifenhe Daily. "We also brought medical supplies valued at 330,000 yuan ($46,500), including protective suits, N95 masks and sterilizing equipment."

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