COVID cases continue to rise across the capital

People shop for groceries at a market in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Thursday. The city is imposing a five-day travel restriction on city residents starting Friday. HUANG YUYANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Guangzhou is arranging trips home for people stranded in high-risk areas

Beijing will further restrict people’s mobility in virus-spread areas as the city is still at a critical stage in managing the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, senior officials said at a news conference on Thursday.

The number of new infections in the city has continued to rise at a high rate and with a broad spectrum, Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at the conference.

Between midnight and 3 p.m. Thursday, Beijing reported 863 local infections, 159 of which were detected at the community level.

Those in virus-prevalent locations should further reduce mobility by reducing inter-district travel and online work and school, he said.

According to Liu, travel histories of infected people in recent days have included crowded places such as colleges, construction sites and markets. “Such places should improve management for people’s entry and exit, with testing temperatures and checking nucleic acid results being musts,” Liu said.

Meanwhile, authorities will quickly reopen supermarkets that have been visited by infected people after disinfection, and those places should mostly reopen after just a day of closures, the conference was told.

Mainland China reported 3,927 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 27,517 local asymptomatic carriers on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said on Thursday.

In Guangzhou, Guangdong province, the government is organizing return trips for people stranded in high-risk areas ready to head home, according to a local health official.

“We will formulate an optimized plan for transferring people by fully understanding their needs based on building epidemic-free communities,” said Zhang Yi, deputy director and spokeswoman for the Guangzhou Health Commission.

People living in buildings with no cases for more than three days can register their willingness to leave through home visits by community workers, said Fu Xiaochu, deputy head of the hard-hit Haizhu District. Those registered can go to a three-day centralized medical observation and can then go home when everything is clear.

He added that about 913 people living in the district’s high-risk areas have been transported to their home destinations in this way, and another 1,414 people are being medically monitored before departure.

Guangzhou on Wednesday reported 428 new locally transmitted confirmed cases and 7,192 asymptomatic carriers, 50 of which were found at the community level.

In Chongqing, the local government reiterated to the public the importance of reducing movement, municipal officials said at a news conference Thursday night.

On Wednesday, the city reported 7,548 new confirmed local infections, Vice Mayor Dan Yanzheng said at the conference. In urban districts, community transmission accounted for 7.2 percent of cases.

“Infections via community transmission continue to decline, which means our strategy has made some progress,” Dan said.

“Our analysis shows that the number of new infections has peaked in recent days and the momentum of virus spread has slowed,” said Qiu Jingfu, director of the School of Public Health and Management at Chongqing Medical University.

“Everyone must work together to achieve ultimate victory and restricting movement is very, very important.”

duJuan contributed to this story.

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