World watching how Shanghai deals with sporadic coronavirus outbreaks: expert

A woman visits the booth of Danish toy giant LEGO Group at the Consumer Goods exhibition area during the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, East China, Nov. 7, 2020. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

The world is watching Shanghai, said Zhang Wenhong, China’s leading infectious disease specialist and head of the Shanghai COVID-19 medical team, on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo after a new COVID-19 case was reported in the city, causing concern of a resurgence of the pandemic.

The city started screening personnel and inspecting areas as soon as the case was found in Yingqian village in the Pudong New Area. Experts said that the new infection is a sporadic case.

Zhang said that imported infections should not be surprising as Shanghai handles more than half of China’s inbound flights and a huge amount of cargo.

“With the pandemic spreading globally, there will always be a risk of imported cases, unless China stops communicating with the world,” Zhang noted.

Currently, few areas of China have reported local cases, and there’s no reason the country should cut communication with the world, but controlling outbreaks of imported infections, maybe the new normal for the next year or two, said Zhang.

He said that the five-day China International Import Expo (CIIE), which concluded Tuesday, has provided a good model for holding international events amid the pandemic.

“The successful holding of the CIIE amid the pandemic, with more than 1 million visits, has infused the country with confidence that it can maintain normal operations in the world economy with effective epidemic control,” he noted.

Zhang said experience shows that China can run faster than the virus. When a case is found, tracing can reach the contacts of the close contacts of the case, and large-scale testing will be carried out for potential infections.

Zhang hopes people will become more accustomed to China’s current epidemic control strategy, and not let their normal life be affected by the occasional case.

The patient diagnosed Tuesday morning is not in serious condition, Zhang noted in his article.

The patient, a worker at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, was not involved with the CIIE, China’s health authority said.

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