Shanghai reports new COVID-19 case in Pudong, village classified as medium-risk area

Yang Jian
The patient, a 51-year-old male porter working at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, showed symptoms of fever, stuffiness and fatigue on November 8.
Yang Jian

Shanghai has a new confirmed COVID-19 case, the city’s health authority announced on Monday, adding that all his close contacts had tested negative.

The 51-year-old patient, surnamed Wang, had worked at the West Cargo Terminal of Pudong International Airport since April 8 and lives in Yingqian Village of Zhuqiao Town in the Pudong New Area. He had not left Shanghai or contacted anyone infected within 14 days. He also had not been to any other medical institute within three months.

According to State Council regulations, Yingqian Village has been rated a medium-risk region, which means people in the village are not allowed to leave Shanghai unless they have a negative test certificate, said Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission. The risk rate of elsewhere in Shanghai remained unchanged.

Wang cycled to the Pudong People’s Hospital at 1:45pm on November 8 after showing symptoms such as fever, nasal obstruction and a lack of strength. His temperature was 37.5 degrees Celsius and a CT showed frosted glass-like images on both lungs.

He was sent to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center for further treatment on Monday morning, said Li Guohua, Pudong’s deputy director. The center in the Jinshan District is a designated medical institute for the treatment of COVID-19 patients where over 1,000 patients have been admitted.

Wang said that apart from his workplace, he had gone to the Baipinghui Mall in Jiangzhen Town, the Wanxia Road Wet Market and the social insurance center on Miaojing Road within 14 days. All the sites have been under closed management and disinfected, Li said.

As of 5pm on Monday, 26 close contacts, including four family members, 16 colleagues and six staff at the market, had been quarantined and received the first round of nucleic acid testing. All of them tested negative.

Of the 181 close contacts of those 26, 106 have been quarantined, while 75 have been in closed-loop transport, said Li.

A total of 462 samples have been collected of food and other items at the related sites. Tests have been conducted on 127 samples and all the results were found to be negative.

The authority will continue an epidemiological investigation, trace the origin of the virus and carry out further nucleic acid testing, Li said. The responsibilities of local authorities will be strictly enforced, along with the closed-loop management and prevention measures, he added.

Wu said the patient had not been in contact with any frozen food and his movements had nothing to do with the ongoing third China International Import Expo.

All the people who entered the CIIE venue had submitted certificates showing negative tests conducted within seven days.

COVID-19 prevention specialists are monitoring and disinfecting the center. They have collected 764 environmental samples and all tests were negative. A total of 24,000 square meters of space in the center has been disinfected, Wu said. The event will run through Tuesday.

Shanghai will further enhance its medical treatment capability to cope with a possible epidemic in the autumn and winter seasons, said Wu.

Local fever clinics have been expanding capacity by increasing specialized CT machines and preparing enough quarantine beds at community health service centers, Wu said.

Apart from the clinical center and the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, the current two designated hospitals for COVID-19, Shanghai has selected a batch of city and district-level hospitals as backup. A total of 8,000 beds have been prepared.

According to current circumstances, the new case is accidental and the influence is quite limited, said Wu Fan, deputy director of the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University and a leading expert with Shanghai's COVID-19 medical team.

“Not only was the case found in time, the follow-up treatment is also effective,” Wu said, adding that quick response is essential to control such accidental cases.

“It is quite difficult for an international megacity like Shanghai to maintain openness while strictly preventing the pandemic,” she added.

Wu Fan reminded people to wear masks, keep a social distance and maintain good personal hygiene. Hands should be washed frequently and rooms well ventilated.

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