Today, at the 55th press conference of Guangdong’s fight against COVID-19 (April 17th), He Jianfeng, Deputy Director-General and chief expert of the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention appealed to both local residents and expats to actively cooperate with continued COVID-19 investigations and quarantine measures, and to provide accurate information to help CDC search out any cases of close contact.
(Photo: Zhu Hongbo)
"Over the past several days, CDC staff have found a few venues presenting a high risk of COVID-19 infection while conducting investigations in Guangzhou. These include both Firusz Bistro (绿松石小酒馆) and Tongtong Trading City (通通商贸城)," He explained.
He went on to further state that these venues are usually crowded with a lot of coming and going, and furthermore are enclosed with poor ventilation, which makes them high risk venues for a viral outbreak.
Through epidemiological investigations, the CDC will be able to find the source of infection in each case, the transmission chain, and the close contacts who will be put under medical observation. "The key to containing COVID-19 is to quickly discover who is infected, identify their close contacts and put them all under quarantine, so as to stop further spread of the virus," He stressed.
He also gave an example. An Ethiopian businessman has been residing in Guangzhou with his wife and four children since 2013. The family went back to Ethiopia on January 28th and came back to Guangzhou on March 23rd. Upon arrival, the whole family was put under medical observation at a designated hotel and the businessman was subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 in quarantine.
During epidemiological investigation, they actively cooperated with the CDC staff and provided detailed information of their travel history and health condition. This helped CDC quickly find who their close contacts could have been and protected more people from being infected.
Liu Guanxian, deputy leader of the medical treatment group of the provincial epidemic prevention and control headquarters office and an expert from the Guangdong Health Commission, emphasized that, at present, the province has teamed up with professional interpreters, polices and epidemiology Investigators, aiming to enhance the province's performance, especially when concerning the treatment of foreign nationals in Guangdong.
"We also welcome expats who speak Chinese or other foreign languages to join our volunteer group to help with these investigations," He added.
Liu also informed that the majority of cases that Guangdong has reported recently are related to imported cases (that is people of all nationalities returning from overseas), have been found among those key populations though proactive investigation. These cases and their close contacts have now all been put under medical observation.
How to decide if you should be tested?
People should be tested for COVID-19 when they have respiratory symptoms, signs of fever, or history of epidemiology, according to Liu. If you are exhibiting none of the above-mentioned symptoms, generally speaking, you need not be tested.
Guangzhou also encourages people including recent arrivals and expats who have a history of having travelled or lived abroad during the epidemic, or who probably have had close contact with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, or who show any symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath to take a nucleic acid test at a designated hospital.
People should also undergo nucleic acid tests of their own volition on the 7th and 14th days after they have been discharged from hospital after recovering from COVID-19 or finishing their period of medical observation.
"This is not only for the sake of your own health, but also to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community," an official of the Guangzhou health commission said.
Authors: Monica & Nan
Editors: Olivia & Simon