Expert says Shanghai's quarantine strategy enough to fend off COVID-19

Yang Jian
Shanghai's current quarantine measures are enough to cope with the high risk of imported COVID-19 cases, even amid the spread of the Omicron variant worldwide, an expert says.
Yang Jian
Expert says Shanghai's quarantine strategy enough to fend off COVID-19
Hu Jun / SHINE

Wu Fan, deputy dean of Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University and a member of the city's COVID-19 prevention experts' team.

Shanghai's current quarantine measures are enough to cope with the city's high risk of imported COVID-19 cases, even amid the spread of the Omicron variant worldwide, a leading expert of the city's coronavirus prevention team said on Monday.

Shanghai is facing the biggest risk of COVID-19 cases from overseas in China, said Wu Fan, deputy dean of Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University.

The city has reported 2,469 imported cases, accounting for a fourth of the nation's total, since February 18, 2020, compared with only 52 local cases.

Shanghai is implementing a "14+7" health management measure, which means two weeks of central quarantine along with an additional week of home quarantine.

"There is no existing evidence to prove the ultra-long incubation period of the coronavirus," said Wu. "It is unscientific to prolong the quarantine period without limits, which will largely increase social costs."

Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao international airports saw the arrival of 47,000 international flights last year, bringing 1.9 million overseas travelers to the city, ranking top among domestic cities.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai port handled the world's largest number of 43.5 million standard containers in 2020, posing additional prevention pressures against the coronavirus transmitted through the global supply chain.

Shanghai has a high-quality disease control and prevention team, which has helped develop an "accurate prevention" network, Wu noted.

The city has created a multi-tier epidemiological investigation team system with quick response. They can collect samples within two hours, complete core information investigation within four hours, as well as track down all related people, conduct control measures and finish disinfection within a day, she claimed.

"Their aim is to minimize the impact to the operation of the city."

During a previous outbreak in downtown Huangpu District in January, Wu led an epidemiological investigation team to trace more than 100 close contacts, some 3,300 high-risk people, 30-plus ride-hailing taxis and 22 restaurants and risky sites within 15 hours.

The much-publicized epidemiological investigation concealed the age, gender, job and other sensitive information about the subjects, while residents were allowed to bring their pets together to the central quarantine hotels.

X-Vaccine project

Shanghai is developing broad-spectrum antibody drugs, which can not only treat COVID-19, but also hepatitis and other diseases, said Wu, who is also head of the city's research institute of major infectious diseases and biosafety.

Furthermore, a vaccination research project named X-Vaccine has also been initiated, which features a vaccine research and development technological platform for possible future epidemics.

"The institute will become a pool for professionals, technologies and scientific innovations to help the city to cope with the next public health risk calmly," Wu added.

Wu, along with other with other top experts and scientists such as Zhang Wenhong, the head of the city's coronavirus patient treatment team, has been battling COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic early last year.

She revealed that she had been working until midnight every day for the last two years. Wu uses a red rose from a plant at home as her WeChat profile photo, because "life must go on even during the pandemic."

Special Reports

Top