China’s efforts to achieve zero infections could be complicated by the recently reported COVID-19 cases. These are giving tentative signs that there might be multiple sources of the virus across the country.
Local governments in China were prompted to double down on efforts to track potential carriers of the virus after reports of a fourth day of cases in some cities across the country.
On Wednesday, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed 17 new local cases, up from nine a day earlier, were reported for Oct. 19.
The new virus cases were reported in eight cities and administrative divisions, more than four for Oct. 18. They were mostly in northern and northwestern China. Additionally, three separate cases were recently reported in the south and southwest of China.
One case was in Beijing, while the capital city was readying for hosting the 2022 Winter Games in February. It is also where officials were expected to make stringent efforts against the virus amid the country’s zero-tolerance policy.
Almost half of the total 26 local cases found on Monday and Tuesday were of close contacts of an elderly married couple. The couple were confirmed as COVID-19 patients on Sunday after travelling in the provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu and the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.
Albeit, there has been no confirmation whether the couple were the source of the outbreak, or where they had contracted the virus.
Many cities raced to trace their close contacts after the couple’s travel history was revealed. People who had been to places where those with detected cases had travelled were required to report to local authorities to get tested.
30 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases for Oct. 19
A total of 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported for Oct. 19 in China. That was with the 17 locally transmitted cases, up from 9 a day earlier.
There were 22 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 19 a day earlier. These, however, were classified separately from confirmed cases, compared with 19 a day earlier.
The death toll was unchanged at 4,636 with no new deaths reported. As of Oct. 19, Mainland China had 96,601 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Elsewhere, Romania reported on Tuesday record numbers of daily coronavirus deaths and infections. According to the World Health Organization/Europe website, it is increasing its support to the country through the deployment of a senior expert.
This expert is expected to strengthen country-level response activities and facilitate the provision of essential COVID-19 supplies. That includes 34 000 COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests and close to 200 oxygen concentrators.