China to prevent 2nd wave of coronavirus outbreak by screening 'no-symptom' infections
By Gong Zhe
The novel coronavirus behind the global outbreak of COVID-19 can spread without causing any symptoms. And China is trying to fortify its halfway-success of the health battle by screening every possible people.
China used to be the epicenter of the global outbreak before the U.S. took the place. With more than 83,000 infections and 3,300 deaths, the nation has put astronomical number of resources to eliminating the virus, closing down cities and halting almost all activities. Now with less than three percent of patients remaining to recover, the outbreak seems to be under control.
Both the Chinese people and the government don't want the tragic pandemic to rise again. And no one should let down the guard until making sure the virus is totally eliminated.
With Wuhan opening its doorways and most part of China trying to restore normal life, the prevention measures are also changing to fit the new situation. And the patients with no symptoms have become a new focus.
What to do next?
To those who still don't have enough knowledge about the deadly and fast-spreading disease, COVID-19 is highly contagious and can spread without causing any symptoms on people. The virus can lurk for as long as two weeks before the infected person become aware. So it's very hard to trace this kind of people.
According to the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, the temporary government body in charge of the outbreak, the following kinds of people are targeted by the new strategy:
- Close contacts of confirmed patients;
- People involved in cluster outbreaks;
- Those exposed to COVID-19;
- Travelers from areas with high risks of infections.
Hospitals across China are required to screen these kinds of people, since it's a very effective way to find the virus without checking on symptoms.
The medical services are also required to report all known "no-symptom" cases within two hours of discovery. The National Health Commission will do daily report on the data collected.
Stricter instead of loosening
China's updated plan against the coronavirus outbreak is asking for more instead of less, mainly because the "no-symptom" infections are harder to trace than normal cases.
This is a response to worries from China and other countries that the outbreak may rise again in September.
It's still unknown if other countries should follow similar steps when the outbreak showing signs of ending.