City upgrades control measures at nucleic acid test sites and fever clinics
Shanghai has strengthened and upgraded its control measures at nucleic acid test sites and fever clinics as the recent COVID-19 epidemic situation in neighboring city Nanjing has become serious.
Nanjing, with a population of more than 9.3 million, reported 190 confirmed cases by Friday, since a resurgence of cluster infections emerged on July 20.
Shanghai has enhanced its COVID-19 prevention and control measures on people coming from domestic high-and medium-risk areas.
All the 127 fever clinics, 225 fever surveillance spots and about 160 facilities offering nucleic acid testing facilities are operating in full swing for epidemic prevention and control.
Nucleic acid test sites
Nucleic acid test sites around the city have seen a significant increase in people coming for tests.
Downtown Changning District's Shanghai Tongren Hospital, which is near the Hongqiao International Airport and Hongqiao traffic hub, has seen a surge since July 26.
"The number of people who come for nucleic acid tests has risen from the previous daily average of about 1,000 to almost 3,000," said nurse Ji Honglan, who has been worked at the hospital for more than 30 years and served in the fever clinic for four years. "We have adjusted to an emergency response situation."
In order to meet the increasing demand for sampling, the hospital's nucleic acid test window has added manpower and extended the daily collecting time, even operating on Sundays.
"We extended the daily sample collecting deadline from 4pm to 10pm," said Lu Xin, the head nurse who is in charge of the nucleic acid test affairs of the hospital. "We have doubled the manpower from two medical workers to four since July 30."
Inquiries about patients' health conditions and travel history before they enter the hospital have also become stricter.
"We have strict entrance management," said Wei Jue, an official with Shanghai Tongren Hospital. "Anyone who wants to enter our hospital needs to have their temperature and health QR code checked. Before entering the building those should be double checked."
Among those tested, some have returned from a trip, some are routinely tested in accordance with the requirements of their employers and some will be on a trip soon.
"I went to Yangzhou (a city in neighboring Jiangsu Province) on July 23, and returned Shanghai on July 25," a man, surnamed Yan, who lives at the border region of Changning and Putuo districts, told Shanghai Daily,
"I am not feeling sick or have a fever now, however, the situation in Nanjing and nearby places became serious. I want to do the nucleic acid test to reassure myself."
There were also some expats in the waiting line. A Japanese couple who live in Changning District, went for tests with their children.
"We need negative test results to return to Japan," said the wife. "I think it is convenient to make an appointment online. Also, it can be done without waiting too long."
Some community hospitals have also witnessed a surge in testing.
"Recently, the number of people who came for nucleic acid test has tripled from 150 to around 600 per day," said Wang Bin, head of the Infectious Diseases Department of Shanghai Yangpu Hospital.
The number of medical staff for collecting samples has doubled to meet the demand, Wang added.
"We also tightened the check of the health QR codes and travel history of people who came to the hospital," he said.
All the fever clinics in city are on high alert with stricter closed-loop management imposed.
"Our fever clinic operates 24 hour per day," said Wei Jue from Tongren Hospital. "We will conduct an initial screenings for patients who have a fever. For those with high- or medium-risk areas travel history, we will carry out strict closed-loop management and send them to have a nucleic acid test.
"Patients of our fever clinic can get their test results within three hours after the sample collection, which is shorter than Shanghai's standard four to six hours."
The Yangpu Hospital has also tightened their control of the fever clinic.
"There has been an increase in fever patients coming to our hospital recently," Wang said.
"For those who come to Shanghai from high- and medium-risk areas, if they have fever, we always stay on high alert and carry out strict control measures. They will definitely not be allowed to leave the hospital without a negative nucleic acid test."
Under the current epidemic condition, medical experts stressed the importance of receiving COVID-19 vaccination and required all residents to arouse awareness by wearing mask, washing hands frequently, keeping social distance and visiting a fever clinic if developing fever or suspected symptoms immediately.
So far, no suspected local cases were reported, and no asymptomatic infection cases are undergoing medical observation now, the local health commission said on Sunday morning.