Stay at home for two more weeks, urges expert

Cai Wenjun
Confinement at home is the best way to fight the coronavirus, says Shanghai's head of coronavirus treatment. Authorities also offer fresh details on recent infections.
Cai Wenjun
Shot by Chen Mengze. Edited by Zhong Youyang. Subtitles by Wang Xinzhou and Andy Boreham.

The head of the coronavirus treatment team in Shanghai stressed that staying at home is the most effective way to control the coronavirus epidemic, and both the government and the public should work together toward containment.

“Please stay at home for two more weeks,” said Dr Zhang Wenhong, who is also director of Huashan Hospital's infectious disease department, on Thursday, when speaking on a possible timetable for eliminating the virus. "It's suffocating for everyone to stay at home, but the virus is also suffocating as well. We aren't resting at home; we're fighters. Every person who stays at home is participating in the battle against the virus."

Zhang said the disease is preventable and controllable and the majority of patients are mild cases.

“Before the development of specialized anti-coronavirus medicine, we will conduct individualized and precise treatment for each patient. The most effective medicine is a patient’s own immunity. We also help patients activate their immunity within the first two weeks.”

Dr Lu Hongzhou from Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, the designated hospital for coronavirus patients, said that recovered patients are not infectious and experience no lasting complications. “The infection and injuries to their bodies and organs are acute and transient,” he explained.

Shanghai reported another three coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the local total of confirmed infections to 257, according to the Shanghai Health Commission.

Among the newly diagnosed patients, one comes from Hubei Province’s Wuhan, the center of the current epidemic, and two are Shanghai residents: those with registered residency and people staying in the city for over six months. One each lives in Putuo and Fengxian districts.

The new patient from Putuo is the father of a 7-month-old girl who was earlier diagnosed with coronavirus along with her mother, maternal grandfather and paternal grandfather. The girl's paternal grandparents had been visiting Shanghai from Wuhan when members of the family started to develop symptoms after family dinners.

Officials also released details of an earlier outbreak among relatives. Three patients, all from one local family in Baoshan District, were confirmed with coronavirus infection on January 29. They claimed to have had no contact with Hubei or people from the province. But they traveled in Bengbu, Anhui Province, from January 14 to 19.

Bengbu authorities reported on Wednesday that five confirmed patients had visited a local gym between January 11 to 19, when two members of the Shanghai family had exercised at the same gym. One gym visitor had meals with another two persons in Huangpu District after returning to Shanghai.

The two persons were also later diagnosed with the virus. A total of five people were infected in this case.

Health authorities reiterated the importance of avoiding outdoor activity and not going to public places with crowds or poor ventilation.

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