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Global Times

Anti-COVID fight in Shanghai enters key stage: local health commission director

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Mar 19, 2022 12:55 PM

Shanghai reported record daily COVID-19 infections on Saturday as the local health commission said the city has entered a crucial stage in battling its worst flare-up in two years.

The city recorded eight new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 366 asymptomatic carriers on Friday, the local health commission said on Saturday morning. A total of 192 confirmed infections or silent carriers were discovered in the screening of high-risk compounds, and the remaining 182 were identified during quarantine or while under control.

Wu Jinglei, director of Shanghai's Health Commission, said at Saturday's media briefing that the city's epidemic prevention and control work has entered a key stage.

As the Shanghai municipal government said there would be no city-wide lockdown, relevant authorities are trying their best to not only block the virus spread by identifying potential contagion risk in a timely manner but also minimize the epidemic impact on the economic and social development.

The past few days saw mass testing at dozens of residential compounds that were sealed off for at least 48 hours, with record number of asymptomatic carriers found.

The screening is very timely, essential and urgently-needed, said Wu Fan, deputy dean of the Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University. "We will assess the spread risk based on the number, time, space and population distribution of infections found through this round of testing to dynamically adjust the epidemic control measures in the next step."

Areas with two all-member negative tests will be unsealed. In the case of low-risk neighborhoods where only a few infections are found, the relevant people and places will be put under control while other areas will be unsealed. In the case of high-risk neighborhoods with many infections, further screening will be carried out.

Wu Fan also called on residents to stay at home to reduce mobility during the weekend.

In addition to two rounds of all-member nucleic acid testing at those key areas that were sealed for at least 48 hours, the city is also pushing forward with a one-round testing program for residents in low-risk residential compounds that are not required to be sealed off.

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