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Tibet shows progress in containing COVID-19

By PALDEN NYIMA in Lhasa, HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu,HUANG ZHILING and ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-30 09:06
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Medical workers care for a newborn baby delivered by a mother confirmed with COVID-19 at a hospital in Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region, on Sunday. The baby tested negative for the virus. LHAKPA DROLMA/TIBET DAILY

The Tibet autonomous region announced on Monday solid progress in reaching zero COVID-19 transmission at the community level in five of its seven prefecture-level cities, while COVID-19 infections have sprung up in other regions across the country, mainly in Sichuan and Hebei provinces and Tianjin.

The Chinese mainland on Sunday reported 301 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 161 were in Sichuan province, the National Health Commission said on Monday.

A total of 1,255 local asymptomatic carriers were identified on Sunday, including 570 in Tibet and 98 in Hainan, according to the commission.

Infections are rising rapidly in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan. Since the social activities of confirmed COVID-19 cases and asymptomatic carriers are extensive in the city, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high, the city government's information office said at a news conference.

Yang Xiaoguang, director of the Chengdu Health Commission, said that starting on Monday, people entering public places-entertainment venues, tourist attractions, sports and fitness venues, commercial buildings, large supermarkets, education and training institutions-in the city must provide negative results of a COVID-19 test taken from within 48 hours.

Hebei province reported three confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 42 asymptomatic carriers on Sunday, mainly in its capital, Shijiazhuang, according to the provincial health commission.

Shijiazhuang underwent its fourth round of mass testing on Sunday in its nine districts since the latest outbreak on Thursday. Residents have been asked to work from home and avoid unnecessary trips until Wednesday.

Chengde city reported 16 asymptomatic carriers on Sunday. In the past few days, other cities in the province have reported sporadic cases, including Langfang, Baoding and Xingtai.

Due to the spreading infections, some universities and colleges such as Hebei GEO University have announced the postponement of their new semesters, which were scheduled to start on Sept 1.

Infections in Tibet have been controlled in most parts.

Tibet saw five cities including Nyingchi realize zero transmission status at the community level on Monday. In addition, transmission at the community level has been basically cut off in most parts of the regional capital Lhasa and in 16 counties of Shigatse, both of which have been severely affected by COVID-19 in recent days, health authorities said at a news conference on Monday.

"The epidemic is in a crucial phase, and the full support and effort of all residents are still needed," Chodar, deputy secretary-general of the regional government, said at a news briefing on Sunday.

The region has prepared to battle COVID-19, with 3,000 metric tons of vegetables on standby as part of efforts to support people's lives, Zhou An, deputy head of the regional commerce department, said on Monday.

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