Residents line up at a local community to receive the "grid screening."
Shanghai's recent COVID-19 "grid screening" has effectively blocked the regional outbreak and potential transmission of the virus, a leading expert with the city's coronavirus prevention team said on Saturday.
All new COVID-19 cases found during the massive screening at key local sub-districts and towns have been put under quarantine in time, said Wu Fan, deputy dean of Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University and a member of the city's COVID-19 prevention experts' team.
Residents of Shanghai's key subdistricts and towns, which have a higher risk of infection, have received two nucleic acid tests between Wednesday and Friday, known as the "grid screening."
The grid screening, which is "timely, necessary and urgent," has detected a large number of normal and asymptomatic cases, Wu told a press briefing on Saturday.
Shanghai reported eight locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 366 local asymptomatic infections on Friday. Among them, four confirmed patients and 178 asymptomatic cases were detected during central quarantine, while the rest were found in the screening, according to the Shanghai Health Commission.
The city has designated a number of "key areas" for the grid screening, mainly based on subdistricts and towns, with high COVID-19 infection risk according to epidemiological investigation and distribution of positive COVID-19 cases.
Xuhui District residents undergo nucleic acid testing.
The quarantine measure has been lifted for the subdistricts and towns where all residents tested negative during the two rounds of nucleic acid testing.
If several normal or asymptomatic cases were found, only their accommodations and other related sites would be kept quarantined, while restrictions on other places will be removed.
If many cases were detected, additional quarantine and screening will be launched across the subdistricts or towns to find the origins and cut transmission chains as early as possible, Wu explained.
Apart from the grid screening, people living in low-risk subdistricts and towns are being tested once free of charge at staggered times through Sunday.
"With the screening measures, which can detect infections in time and curb the virus spread, Shanghai is expected to achieve the 'dynamic zero COVID-19' at community level soon," Wu said.
Citizens under quarantine are required to make self-health observations every day and follow orders to receive nucleic acid testing. If condition permits, they are suggested to live in separate rooms at home and use serving chopsticks and spoons, Wu said.
Citizens under the ongoing screening are required to wear a mask and avoid gathering during the testing.
People living in low-risk areas are being tested once at staggered times through Sunday.
Back-up medical force
Shanghai has activated its back-up medical resources to cope with the increasing number of new infections, according to the commission.
The city has prepared a batch of back-up designated hospitals for COVID-19 patients along with back-up beds. Additional beds have also been prepared at the existing COVID-19 designated hospitals, according to Wu Jinglei, director of the commission.
Some back-up medics teams have been standing by, who can support the designated hospitals. Expert teams for COVID-19 cases in severe conditions has also been established, who will rush to hospitals when any severe or dangerous cases appear.
To receive the large number of new normal and asymptomatic cases found during the recent massive screening, the capacity of the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, the city's main designated hospital for COVID-19 patients, has been expanded with additional medical professionals from other city-level hospitals and medical equipment, Wu said.
An emergency plan has been activated to renovate some local hospitals that can meet the standards into designated hospital to receive and treat COVID-19 patients, he added.
Editor: Cai Wenjun