It is unlikely that the new COVID-19 outbreak in Kashgar prefecture of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will spread further, a local health official said on Wednesday.
Kashgar reported 22 new confirmed COVID-19 patients and 19 new asymptomatic patients on Tuesday, said Wang Xijiang, deputy director of the Kashgar center for disease prevention and control.
All the confirmed cases were from the group of asymptomatic patients reported since Saturday, as they have begun to show symptoms, Wang said at a news conference. Asymptomatic cases are placed in a different category from confirmed cases, in which symptoms are present.
All the patients were reported in Shufu county of Kashgar prefecture and, as of Tuesday, there were a total of 22 confirmed patients and 161 asymptomatic patients, he said.
Apart from these cases, all the remaining 4.74 million people in Kashgar tested negative, he added.
Gu Yingsu, deputy director of Xinjiang's health commission, said all of the asymptomatic patients had been quarantined for medical observation at a designated hospital and all of the confirmed cases have received timely treatment at the hospital.
The National Health Commission and Xinjiang's health commission have sent medical experts to the hospital, she said.
The designated hospital is also equipped with enough medical devices and epidemic prevention and control materials to handle the outbreak, she said.
Asat Ulayim, a Kashgar government official, said the new outbreak is closely related to a garment factory that employs 252 people in Zhanmin township of Shufu.
The factory was sealed off immediately after the outbreak, and all employees have undergone nucleic acid tests. Those who tested positive have been quarantined for medical observation at a designated hospital and their close contacts have been quarantined, he added.