Chinese authorities expect a ‘cliff-like’ drop for Beijing’s coronavirus cases but warn the epidemic situation is still ‘severe and complicated’
- A Chinese infectious disease expert made the prediction on state TV yesterday
- He also urged the public to get ready to ‘co-exist’ with coronavirus ‘long term’
- Beijing government today claimed the spread of the disease had been contained
- But a spokesman warned the city still faced a ‘severe and complicated’ situation
- China’s capital reported nine new cases on Sunday, down from 22 a day earlier
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A Chinese medical advisor has predicted the number of coronavirus cases in Beijing to have a ‘cliff-like’ drop this week after authorities imposed draconian measures to cut chains of transmission.
Wu Hao, an infectious disease expert who supervised the anti-coronavirus efforts in Wuhan, also urged the public to get ready to ‘co-exist’ with COVID-19′ long term’.
The Chinese capital city has been ravaged by a new coronavirus outbreak, which is linked to a massive seafood market and has seen over 200 people infected.
Beijing government today claimed the spread of the disease had been contained but warned that the city was still facing a ‘severe and complicated’ epidemic situation.
Wu Hao, an infectious disease expert who supervised the anti-coronavirus efforts in Wuhan, told China’s state TV that the number of Beijing’s coronavirus cases would drop sharply with draconian measures underway. Pictured, people line up to board a bus in Beijing on Monday
The city of more than 20 million people reported its first case of a new spike in infections on June 11 after it had registered zero daily cases for nearly two months.
In all, 236 people have been infected in the worst outbreak in Beijing since the virus was identified at a seafood wholesale market in the central city of Wuhan late last year.
Beijing reported on Monday nine new cases had been confirmed the previous day, sharply down from 22 a day earlier.
‘If you control the source, and cut the chain of transmission, the number will have a cliff-like drop,’ Mr Wu, a member of the expert team from the National Health Commission, told state broadcaster CCTV in an interview aired on Sunday.
As of Saturday, officials had screened about 2.3 million Beijing residents for the novel coronavirus to prevent its spread. Pictured, workers wearing full protective suits attend to locals who had gathered to undergo mass-testing for COVID-19 in Beijing on Monday
Mr Wu, the expert, also urged the public to get ready to ‘co-exist’ with COVID-19′ long term’. Pictured, Beijing residents wearing protective face masks line up to get tested for coronavirus
Millions of people in Beijing have had their daily lives upended by the resurgence of the disease over the past 11 days, with some fearing a city lockdown is imminent.
But Mr Wu said Beijing was not headed for a ‘flood-like’ lockdown, unlike early efforts in Wuhan when little was known about the virus, adding that lockdown tactics had been more ‘precise and effective’ this time.
To control the spread of the virus, Beijing has designated four neighbourhoods as high-risk and 39 as medium-risk, as of Monday.
People can leave and enter the medium-risk neighbourhoods, with temperature checks and registration, but apartment blocks with two confirmed cases or more are totally locked down.
To control the spread of the virus, Beijing has designated four neighbourhoods as high-risk and 39 as medium-risk, as of Monday. Pictured, a worker wears a protective suit as he walks by residents while decontaminating the environment to prevent COVID-19 in Beijing on Sunday
People can leave and enter the medium-risk neighbourhoods, with temperature checks and registration, but apartment blocks with two confirmed cases or more are totally locked down
In high-risk neighbourhoods, an entire residential compound is sealed off if there is even one infection there.
Mr Wu also warned citizens to get ready to ‘co-exist with the novel coronavirus long term’ and treat anti-coronavirus efforts ‘as the norm’.
‘The fact that an outbreak is contained doesn’t mean the virus does not exist. [We] should prevent [it] when necessary,’ the expert noted. ‘This is why we say we must normalise the efforts to prevent and control [the virus], instead of normalising our life.’
To identify carriers, Beijing has been conducting tests on people it deems are in higher-risk groups such as restaurant workers and food and parcel couriers.
Residents in some low-risk neighbourhoods have also been tested. As of Saturday, officials had screened about 2.3 million Beijing residents for the virus.
Though people are concerned, most are resigned to the need to be on guard for some time.
‘We’ve to live with the virus for the long term before a vaccine is available,’ said Bill Yuan, 28, an IT worker.
‘There might be a few new infections all the time. If it happens, we’ve to stay alert for a while and quarantine. Then go back to work when it’s gone.’
The Chinese capital city has been ravaged by a new coronavirus outbreak, which is linked to a massive seafood market. Pictured, a vendor walks past closed stalls at a food market in Beijing
Beijing’s municipal government said on Monday that authorities had curbed the spread of the virus in the shortest time possible. The above picture shows a closed seafood stall in Beijing
Beijing’s municipal government said on Monday that authorities had curbed the spread of the virus in the shortest time possible.
Xu Hejian, a government spokesperson, said at a press conference that officials had identified the reach of the disease in the city and pinned down the critical risk points.
But Mr Xu cautioned: ‘The capital’s epidemic prevention and control situation is still severe and complicated.’
China’s National Health Commission reported a total of 18 new infections on Monday, including 11 native cases and seven imported cases.
Apart from the nine local cases in the capital, two were diagnosed in Hebei Province which neighbours Beijing.
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