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Global Times

New domestic COVID-19 infections likely originated from NE China port city: top epidemiologist

Global Times

By Global Times Published: May 16, 2021 01:20 PM

The recent resurgence of sporadic COVID-19 cases in China may have originated from the port city of Yingkou, Northeastern China's Liaoning Province, and have links to imported cases, a top Chinese epidemiologist said, as local authorities have yet to determine the source of infection.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made this judgement based on the onset time of latest cases and locations of the two cities.

Although the city of Lu'an in East China's Anhui Province reported a confirmed case first, the time of onset for Yingkou cases in Liaoning Province was earlier, Wu told the Chinese media.

"Usually, it has been either imported cases or items that have resulted in new cases in China… As an inland province, the possibility that Anhui's resurgence resulted from imported cases is low. But Liaoning, the province where Yingkou is located, had reported several domestic outbreaks triggered by imported cases."

Yingkou Port is a major port for cargo freight in northeastern China and has container shipping lines and business with 130 ports in more than 40 countries and regions including Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. The port also has a cold-chain transportation special line to Jilin Province.

After Lu'an reported one confirmed case on May 13, Anhui's Hefei and Liaoning's Yingkou and Shenyang reported more cases.

China's National Health Commission has sent a working group to Liaoning Province to guide the prevention and control work of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Liaoning reported four new local cases on Sunday amid the resurgence.

One community in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, was raised to a medium-risk region for COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of medium-risk regions relating to the resurgence of sporadic COVID-19 cases to 13.

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