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12 Oct 2020 | 08:59 PM UTC

China: Authorities to test all Qingdao (Shandong province) residents as new COVID-19 cases reported October 12 /update 80

China News Alert

Authorities to test all Qingdao (Shandong province) residents over the coming week as new COVID-19 cases reported October 12; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/12/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/19/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Shanghai). COUNTRY/REGION Qingdao (Shandong)

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Event

Health authorities announced on Monday, October 12, that the entire population of Qingdao (Shandong province) will be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) over the coming week amid a recent spike in locally transmitted cases. The testing is slated to occur over the next five days following reports that most of the recent cases have been linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, which reportedly has been treating people confirmed with the disease after returning from overseas. Qingdao has reported six new COVID-19 cases and six asymptomatic transmissions as of October 12. The Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) has said that the mainland has confirmed a total number of 21 active cases as of October 12. 

Foreign nationals with residence permits have been allowed to re-enter the country from September 28 as the country has eased certain restrictions. Foreign nationals who have valid Chinese residence permits to work, visit family, or for personal matters will be allowed to return to the country. Additionally, foreign nationals possessing residence permits that expired after March 28 will be allowed to reapply for a visa to re-enter China.

Previously, Chinese authorities had already allowed citizens from 36 European and 13 Asian countries to enter the country, provided they have a valid Chinese residence permit. China's borders had been closed to European citizens for four-and-a-half months. The move was an effort to revive the Chinese economy by encouraging foreign specialist workers to return. Residence permit-holders can apply for visas free of charge at their nearest Chinese embassy or consulate. All arrivals into China must provide a negative COVID-19 test, which is to be taken within five days prior to boarding.

As of October 12, there have been 90,828 reported cases of COVID-19 in China with 4739 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan. Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on the skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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