3 Pudong communities declared medium-risk after new infections

Yang Jian
Shanghai now has six COVID-19 cases in Pudong within two weeks.
Yang Jian

Shanghai reported five new confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in the last three days and three communities in the Pudong New Area where the patients live have been designated as medium-risk areas, local authorities said.

A cargo security inspector at Pudong International Airport and his wife, a hospital nurse, were confirmed as two new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Friday and three people were found infected during the follow-up contact tracing.

The 39-year-old cargo worker surnamed Wu went to Shanghai Zhoupu Hospital with a high fever on Thursday and later tested positive for COVID-19, according to Shanghai Health Commission.

His 34-year-old wife surnamed Li, who is a nurse at Shanghai Pudong Hospital, had a fever and a sore throat on Friday and was diagnosed with COVID-19 later on the same day. They have been transferred to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center for quarantine and treatment.

Shanghai Pudong Hospital has suspended its daily outpatient and emergency services. A total of 4,015 medical staff, workers, patients and other related people have been quarantined in the hospital.

The school their daughter attends has been disinfected and has moved classes online.

Experts have launched an epidemiological investigation, and authorities are tracking close contacts.

On Saturday, one of Wu’s colleagues, 29-year-old Wang, tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and his wife Zhang, 30, was also confirmed infected yesterday.

A 46-year-old man, surnamed Cao, who also works with Wu, was reported to have contracted the disease yesterday during the screening of close contacts.

The communities, where the patients live, have been added to the list of coronavirus medium-risk regions, namely Mingtianhuacheng residential area of Zhoupu Town, Xinsheng in Zhuqiao Town and the 126 Shunhe Road neighborhood in Zhangjiang Town.

People in these areas are not allowed to leave Shanghai unless it is an emergency but they must produce a negative nucleic acid test certificate within seven days.

Li Guohua, deputy head of the Pudong New Area, said there is no evidence to prove that the new cases were connected to the previously confirmed case, which was reported in Yingqian Village, Zhuqiao Township, on November 9.

The patient, a 51-year-old male porter, has worked at Shanghai Pudong International Airport since April 8 and never left Shanghai, and has no COVID-19 contact history and no hospital visits in the past three months.

Zhang Wenhong, head of the city’s expert team for COVID-19 clinical treatment, said although both Wu and the previous case were engaged in logistics work at the Pudong airport, current epidemiological surveys showed they had never been in contact with one another. “The two should be identified as two sporadic cases,” said Zhang.

With the arrival of winter and the spread of the epidemic in the world, the risk of the coronavirus entering the country will increase, especially via logistics and cold-chain transportation, Zhang said. “There is no need to be surprised or panic about the new sporadic cases,” he added.

There are 125 medical institutes, including hospitals and community clinics, which have nucleic acid test capability in the city, said Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Health Commission.

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