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Hainan fishermen soon to return to sea

By MA ZHIPING in Haikou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-22 09:07
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A medical worker accompanies patients discharged from a makeshift hospital in Sanya, Hainan province, on Sunday. They were the first 14 people to be discharged from the facility. [Photo by WU WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Hainan provincial authorities have decided to resume sea fishing operations "by regions and in batches" starting from Tuesday, based on comprehensive analysis and judgment, and solid progress in combating the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the tropical island province.

The first batch includes Wenchang, Haikou, Qionghai, Chengmai and Changjiang. Local government will greenlight other areas individually, once they fully meet the conditions of zero-COVID-19 transmission status at the community level, and other pandemic prevention and control measures, officials said at a news briefing in Haikou on Sunday afternoon.

They detailed three conditions that localities must meet before fishing boats and fishermen resume fishing: no registered COVID-19 cases for 72 hours; the fishermen must have no history of traveling in high or medium-level risk areas within seven days; and their places of residence must either be outbreak-free or low-risk areas.

In addition, they must have negative nucleic acid certificates issued within 48 hours of going to sea.

Closed-loop management will be strictly enforced on boats and fishermen in distant sea waters, offshore areas, at wharves and at seafood markets, to prevent the entry of the virus from overseas.

The outbreak in Hainan has taken a positive turn thanks to substantial progress in epidemic prevention and control, said Li Wenxiu, deputy director of the Hainan Provincial Health Commission.

He said the number of reported infections across the province has dropped for three consecutive days, and the number of infected people found in communities has decreased significantly.

Sanya, at the southern tip of the island and the epicenter of the latest outbreak which began on Aug 1, has seen a decline in infections for three consecutive days.

He added that the developing situation in Danzhou, Dongfang, Wanning and Ledong has also been contained, and the preliminary signs of decline have been reported.

Meanwhile, Hainan has seen a significant increase in hospital discharges. As of Saturday, 1,458 patients had been discharged from hospitals and officials said that traditional Chinese medicine has been used in their treatment.

Since Aug 1, the number of confirmed and asymptomatic cases in Hainan province stands at 7,144 and 10,018, respectively, with 5,452 confirmed cases and 7,514 asymptomatic carriers registered in Sanya alone, according to the provincial health commission.

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