Shanghai vows to enhance efficiency of testing
China Daily

A grandparent takes care of her grandchild at a makeshift hospital at Shanghai New International Expo Center on Tuesday. The city, which has reported a daily tally of more than 17,000 COVID-19 infections, still confronts a grim situation. (Photo: JIEFANG DAILY)

Shanghai has vowed to enhance the efficiency of testing, quarantine operations and disinfection work to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, as the daily tally for infections reached more than 17,000.

Health authorities conducted citywide mass testing on Wednesday, Shanghai's sixth day under lockdown, following swift mass testing on Monday, which was completed with assistance from other regions.

Health authorities reported 311 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 16,766 asymptomatic carriers for Tuesday.

Shanghai has recorded more than 90,000 infections in the current outbreak, which started in March, with some transmissions spreading to other provincial-level regions, Lei Zhenglong, deputy head of the National Health Commission's disease control bureau, said at a news conference in Beijing.

"The situation for epidemic prevention and control is very grim," Lei said.

The National Health Commission has sent 38,000 medical workers to Shanghai and 2.38 million nucleic acid testing capacity to support the city's COVID battle, according to Mi Feng, a spokesman for the commission.

"Depending on the situation, more reinforcements will be dispatched to Shanghai," Mi said.

Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, stressed in a meeting on Wednesday that "speedy" measures should be taken for the city to curb the spread of the epidemic while ensuring the basic needs of residents.

He urged swift testing, quick construction of makeshift hospitals and other quarantine facilities, and large-scale disinfection done with support from other regions.

"Every minute counts," Li said. "We should be fast enough to beat the virus' transmission."

All Party members and officials at all levels should take the lead to mobilize all sectors and engage all residents to beat the epidemic as soon as possible, he added.

To ensure the city's operation, essential workers and deliverymen will continue to take regular tests, Gu Honghui, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government, said on Wednesday.

The city has also taken steps to improve care for infected patients, especially children.

Wu Qianyu, a Shanghai Health Commission senior inspector, said, "We have strengthened our medical resources and set aside separate zones for the treatment of child patients along with their infected parents."

She added that guardians who are not infected are allowed to accompany their infected children as long as they sign a waiver and have a full understanding of the potential health risk.

The accompanying adults should wear masks, take personal precautions, dine separately and adhere to the management and guidance of the health workers in hospitals.