Latest infections in Xinjiang unrelated to its previous outbreaks

Health authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region said on Monday that the latest discovery of several asymptomatic cases was unrelated to previous COVID-19 outbreaks in the region.

The health commission of Turpan City said at a press conference that the genome analysis on the viral samples, collected from the four local asymptomatic carriers, suggested that the virus strain was different from those reported in previous outbreaks in the region’s Urumqi and Kashgar.

On Saturday, four asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were reported in Turpan City’s Gaochang District. A 32-year-old man, who works for a local commerce company, was the first to be diagnosed after testing positive during a routine screening. The man’s wife, mother, and one of his colleagues were later confirmed as asymptomatic cases in citywide testing of his close contacts.

Ming Guofu, deputy head of the city’s health commission, said that as of Monday morning, the city completed the free nucleic acid testing for all residents in the district, and all of them have negative results except the four asymptomatic cases.

It suggested the outbreak was detected at an early stage and showed no signs of further spread, the official said.

On Sunday, the city reported no new COVID-19 infections. Xinjiang currently has no existing confirmed cases and four asymptomatic cases, all in Turpan’s Gaochang District.

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