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Global Times

Turning point for Guangzhou with no new COVID-19 cases for 1st time since latest outbreak

Global Times

By Lu Yameng Published: Jun 16, 2021 11:00 PM

Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province detected no new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday - the first time since the recent resurgence, which started on May 21. With more communities being lifted from lockdown status, experts said that the turning point has arrived, without a possibility of another major outbreak.

The Health Commission of Guangdong Province said on Wednesday that no new locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases or asymptomatic cases were reported on Tuesday.

Some areas that were under lockdown status were reopened with the easing of the outbreak. As part of scientific epidemic prevention and control measures amid the latest surge, six areas from three districts were approved to exit lockdown status on Wednesday. Eleven other areas in the city left lockdown status on Monday.

"It can be said that the latest outbreak in the city has arrived at a turning point," Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director of the Pathogen Biology Department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Chen Bin, a deputy director and spokesperson of Guangzhou's health commission, said at a press conference on Wednesday that "zero new cases" does not mean zero risk. The reopening of some lockdown areas does not mean that prevention and control measures would be relaxed, Chen said.

"There may be sporadic cases reported in the following days, but there won't be a chance of a major outbreak in this surge," Yang noted.

Ma Wenjun, an expert from the Guangzhou disease control and prevention center, predicted in an article published on Saturday that the latest round of infections in the city would end around June 20, and cases reported in the latest round would be limited to 180.

Yang pointed out that the recent surge in the city had been much easier to control, compared with the outbreak last June at the Xinfadi market in Beijing. The patient zero and the transmission chain in this surge in Guangzhou were clear, and cases mainly happened in several areas in the city.

"The outbreak has been well controlled, which shows that the current response measures taken by Guangzhou are effective. In the future, the city's epidemic control group should just be guided by this experience and continue to do prevention work on a regular basis," Yang noted.

Guangzhou has two high-risk areas, both in Liwan district, and 11 medium-risk areas: three in Liwan district, two in Baiyun district, three in Nansha district, and one each in Yuexiu district, Haizhu district, and Panyu district.

Since Guangzhou reported its first case in this outbreak on May 21, as of 12 pm on Tuesday, a total of 147 locally transmitted cases had been reported in the city.

Of the total, 140 were confirmed cases, and seven were asymptomatic patients.

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