Beijing , Jan 12: China transferred more than 20 thousand people on Monday from Shijiazhuang in Hebei province to designated quarantine areas for medical observation due to rising coronavirus cases.
"More than 20k people in 12 villages in Zengcun county of Gaocheng district in N China's Shijiazhuang have been transferred to designated quarantine areas for medical observation since Mon. The county reported the 1st #COVID19 case on Jan 2 during this round of flare-ups in Hebei," tweeted Global Times. Chinese health experts warned that the coronavirus spreading in China appears to be more infectious and transmissible, and asymptomatic infections, especially silent infections in villages, have become a new and big challenge for China, judging from the ongoing Shijiazhuang outbreak, reported Global Times.
A weak and slow COVID-19 response at the grassroots level, which includes a failed surveillance and reporting system in villages, has spawned the recent domestic cluster infections, said experts.
The Chinese mainland reported 103 confirmed cases on Monday, mostly from Hebei, the first time for a daily triple-digit rise in the number of confirmed cases in more than five months. The last time the Chinese mainland reported such a rise was at the end of July, when Urumqi, Xinjiang was hit by daily new cases of over 100, reported Global Times.
Hebei, currently the hardest-hit Chinese province with the most local COVID-19 patients this winter, reported 40 new confirmed cases on Tuesday. Several infected clusters were recently found in the region, bringing risks of cross-regional spread of the coronavirus.
Moreover, the silent spread of the virus amply shows that asymptomatic patients have increasingly become a great challenge for China's epidemic prevention and control efforts, said Zhang Yuexin, a member of the anti-epidemic group in Xinjiang.
The epidemic will affect the Hebei region during the Spring Festival holiday, which falls in February, and will see tightened restrictions on the movement of local people in these regions, reported Global Times .