Chinese health officials announced on Sunday that they would test all residents of the northeastern city of Dalian as the local authorities scrambled to control the spread of a new cluster of Covid-19 infections.
Dalian, a port in Liaoning province with a population of over six million people, confirmed 12 new cases of local origin and 14 asymptomatic cases on Saturday. Dalian’s cluster of infections was first reported on Wednesday, when a 58-year-old man working at a seafood processing company tested positive.
Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, led a team to Dalian on Friday night to guide the containment measures. As of Saturday, the contagion link from the city’s cluster had extended to seven other cities in four provinces, mostly asymptomatic case.
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Ma said the city should aim to complete nucleic acid testing, all costs to be covered by the government, within four days, according to a statement released by the National Health Commission on Sunday.
As most of the confirmed and asymptomatic cases are related to the seafood company, Dalian has put all of the firm’s employees and their close contacts under the 14-day quarantine, which will be expanded to cover more possible close contacts.
China reported 35 local infections cases on Saturday, 22 in the northwest region of Xinjiang, which reported cluster infections earlier this month, and 13 in Liaoning province – 12 of which were in Dalian.
Zhang Wei, director of the public health office in Xinjiang, said on Sunday that the government will conduct a second round of nucleic acid tests for residents in several high-risk districts in Urumqi, capital of the autonomous region, to improve accuracy.
The worldwide number of cases has now topped 16 million, with the death toll near 643,000 as of Saturday.
North Korea reported its first suspected Covid-19 infection, with leader Kim Jong-un announcing a state of emergency and placing Kaesong, a city near the border with the South where the case was confirmed, under lockdown.
Meanwhile, Vietnam resumed social distancing restrictions in Da Nang, banning gatherings of more than 30 people and all sport, cultural and religious events in the city. The authorities reported that two people had tested positive for the virus and were in a critical condition.
In the United States, new cases hit 66,665 on Saturday as Florida became the state with the second highest number of cases behind California.
Brazil reported 51,147 new virus cases, down from the 55,891 reported the previous day. The country has now seen almost 2.4 million cases, according to health ministry data, second only to the US which has over 4 million.
Germany reported 742 new cases on Saturday, the highest single-day rise in a month. And the country’s health minister said the increasing number of people taking holidays has raised the risk of imported cases.
In Africa, the number of cases exceeded 800,000, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said, more than half of which were in South Africa.
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This article Coronavirus: Chinese authorities to test six million residents in Dalian after new cluster emerges first appeared on South China Morning Post