Coastal city of Dalian enters ‘wartime mode’ to prevent outbreak

Beijing, Jul 24 (efe-epa).- The authorities of the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian has been declared in “wartime mode” to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak after confirming at least three cases, state media reported Friday.

Authorities on Thursday ordered the closure of markets after detecting a cluster linked to a seafood processing company, state newspaper Global Times reported.

To prevent an outbreak, the local government has taken several measures, such as requiring nucleic acid tests in those who want to take line 3 of the local metro, along which the processing plant is located.

In addition, the local government has ordered the closure of kindergartens and nurseries from Friday, and demanded “widespread disinfection” and inspections in key areas, such as shopping malls and wholesale markets.

Employees of these areas must also undergo coronavirus tests, while indoor public spaces such as internet cafes and mahjong and poker rooms in areas declared as medium risk were asked to close.

The local government urged health centers to be alert to prevent infections in hospitals, while a government team will provide daily supplies to communities put under lockdown.

In the latest count published Friday, China’s National Health Commission recorded two new cases of COVID-19 in Dalian, as well as 15 asymptomatic infections.

On Wednesday, a 58-year-old seafood processing company employee tested positive for COVID-19, breaking a 111-day run of no cases in the city. The source of the infection is not yet known.

A little more than 3 kilometers from this factory is the Liaoyu market, with around 1,000 stalls spread over 12,000 square meters, which has been closed and whose vendors have all been tested for the infectious disease.

In total, the city plans to test at least 190,000 people, according to the Global Times, while 18 experts from the NHC have been dispatched to Dalian to help with prevention efforts.

The first known outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan began in late December at a fish and seafood market in the city.

Dalian, located in Liaoning province, is a coastal city of about 6 million and its economy relies on fishing and seafood.

The city was one of the two “safe” venues where, from Saturday, the Chinese soccer Super League was to resume. Official media is already reporting “stricter measures” to be put in place, despite the fact that all the players and technicians were to be kept under strict confinement during the weeks of competition. EFE-EPA


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