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Guangzhou steps up measures to fight COVID-19 as cases rise

Property management personnel deliver daily necessities to residents of a housing estate under lockdown due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on June 2, 2021. (TANG MINGMING / FOR CHINA DAILY)

City government departments in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, stepped up measures to fight the spread of novel coronavirus on Wednesday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and asymptomatic carriers detected in the city continued to rise.

Chen Bin, deputy director of the Guangzhou health commission, said the city recorded 11 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and five local asymptomatic carriers on Wednesday, bringing the total number of locally transmitted coronavirus cases in the latest outbreak to 70, including 56 confirmed cases and 14 asymptomatic carriers.

Most of the patients and asymptomatic carriers were detected in the city's medium- and high-risk areas in Liwan district, where the first confirmed case was detected on May 21.

Chen Bin, Deputy director, Guangzhou health commission

"Most of the patients and asymptomatic carriers were detected in the city's medium- and high-risk areas in Liwan district, where the first confirmed case was detected on May 21," Chen told a news conference on Thursday.

An investigation found that a 53-year-old female asymptomatic carrier who was detected on May 28 infected 15 people in Liwan's Hainan village.

"All the patients and carriers are now in Guangzhou No 8 People's Hospital for treatment while the close contacts of the 16 patients and asymptomatic carriers detected on Wednesday have been placed under quarantine," Chen said.

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To prevent and control the coronavirus from spreading in the city, the Liwan subdistricts of Zhongnan, Baihedong and Dongjiao were closed off for stricter management on Thursday, with no residents allowed to enter or leave.

Staff from communities and property management companies have begun to help purchase and distribute food and daily necessities for the residents of affected housing estates.

Government departments have launched several rounds of nucleic acid tests for residents of the city's medium- and high-risk areas, Chen said.

She said all the residents of the northern part of Liwan district will be required to take nucleic tests in the days to come.

Chen said the city has opened special channels to allow residents with yellow health codes to take nucleic acid tests. A yellow health code indicates a person has been in contact with a confirmed patient or asymptomatic carrier, or has visited a medium- or high-risk area.

Residents with yellow health codes are barred from using buses, the subway and other public transportation services.

She urged people to go out less and shun family parties, banquets and visits to crowded venues to avoid being infected with the coronavirus.

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By the end of Wednesday, more than 7.82 million swab samples had been collected for nucleic acid testing in Guangzhou since May 26, with 6.83 million returning negative results, Chen added.

Yang Yanhui, deputy director of Guangzhou's marketing supervision administration, said supplies of food, including meats, eggs, grains, edible oil, vegetables and milk, and daily necessities in local supermarkets and agricultural bazaars are sufficient and the prices have remained stable since the outbreak began. Strict measures have been introduced to fight price gouging.

zhengcaixiong@chinadaily.com.cn