Tibet records 22 new infections

Resurgence in multiple locations breaks 920-day streak without cases

Left: An agricultural company arranges for groceries to be sent to residents under lockdown in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on Thursday. Right: Volunteer Zhou Xuandong reminds people to take nucleic acid tests using a megaphone. (QIAN XUSHENG / lYU BIN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

The Tibet autonomous region, which previously held the mainland record for the longest number of days without a COVID-19 case, reported multiple infections on Sunday.

In the regional capital Lhasa, 18 people tested positive during nucleic acid testing on a key group on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the city's health authorities on Monday afternoon.

Two children were diagnosed as confirmed cases while the others are currently asymptomatic. They have been transferred to designated hospitals for treatment and all close and secondary close contacts have been quarantined, the statement said.

The cases were all connected to a woman who traveled from Tibet's Shigatse city to the regional capital on Thursday, the statement said.

Lhasa had one high-risk area, 15 medium-risk areas, with the rest of the city's Chengguan district designated as low risk.

Separately, in the border county of Burang in Ngari prefecture in western Tibet, four positive cases were discovered during regular nucleic acid testing on Sunday, according to a statement issued by the prefecture's health authorities on Monday morning.

The four cases, all diagnosed as asymptomatic, were detected in tourists from outside the county, the statement said.

Of them, three were from the Samdrubze district of Shigatse and one was from Dingri county in Shigatse. They have been sent to a designated hospital for treatment.

In all, 171 close and secondary contacts in Burang county have been traced, quarantined and tested, and all have returned negative results, according to Ngari prefecture health authorities.

Located on the borders of Nepal and India, Burang is home to around 12,000 people.

As current cases all have links to Shigatse, all counties and districts in the city have been placed under strict control for the next three days, with people not allowed to enter or exit.

All indoor cultural, sports and entertainment venues, such as bars, cinemas and libraries, will be closed for the next three days.

The city has also halted activities including mass gatherings, celebrations, forums, training sessions, religious activities, and the operation of kindergartens and nursing homes during the three-day period.

Tibet had reported no confirmed or suspected cases for 920 days before Sunday.

As a result of the sudden resurgence of cases, the opening ceremony of Tibet's 13th sports meet which was scheduled to be held on Monday in Nyingchi city, has been suspended to prevent gatherings.

Despite the cancellation of the opening ceremony, the games will be held as normal, but without spectators, according to a report by Tibet Daily.

Contact the writers at palden_nyima@chinadaily.com.cn