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Global Times

Xinjiang downgrades alert level indicating COVID-19 outbreak has been fully controlled: expert

Global Times

By Wan Lin Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/29 15:08:46

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has downgraded its response level to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the region to low-risk as of Saturday, after no new cases have been reported for almost two weeks, leading experts to conclude that the spread of coronavirus in Xinjiang has been fully controlled.

Xinjiang authorities announced on Friday that the response level of the region's five remaining districts that were at high or middle-level risk has been downgraded to low risk, effective on Saturday.

The region has reported zero new confirmed COVID19 case for 13 consecutive days.

As of Saturday, 752 COVID-19 patients had recovered and been discharged from hospital and 208 silent carriers had been released from medical observation in Xinjiang since the outbreak in the region was first detected on July 15.

There are still 74 confirmed cases and 30 asymptomatic patients in Xinjiang, in Urumqi. Another 1,396 people remained under medical observation as of Saturday.

Experts said no new cases for nearly two weeks in the region indicate the anti-epidemic work has been successful.

"On the whole, the epidemic in Xinjiang has been controlled," Wang Peiyu, deputy head of Peking University's School of Public Health, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Wang emphasized the region should maintain regular epidemic prevention and control work and improve the testing capacity to screen out potential silent carriers as the region gradually returns to normal. Urumqi, the hardest-hit city in the region, conducted a new round of tests in key communities on Wednesday.

As the outbreak ebbs in Xinjiang, many college students in low-risk areas have already returned to their schools outside of Xinjiang.

More than 200 students from Xinjiang have returned to Wuhan University in Central China's Hubei Province, and 140 are currently in quarantine in the city, Li Qin, deputy minister of the Student Affairs Department of Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Li said around 270 Xinjiang students are expected to return to the university in the coming weeks, and they will be quarantined at the school's designated isolation center.

Xinjiang organized a special train for more than 900 college students to send them to their schools on Friday, according to Xinjiang railway authorities.

The train started in Shihezi city in northern Xinjiang, headed east with stops in Lanzhou in Northwest China's Gansu Province, Zhengzhou in Central China's Henan Province, Hefei in East China's Anhui Province and Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province.

The government will step up transportation services to meet the increasing demand of students returning to school and work in other cities, said the authorities.

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