The Chinese mainland recorded zero new local COVID-19 cases on Sunday, according to a daily report by China’s National Health Commission on Monday, the first time since the current outbreak began.
The outbreak started on July 20, with cases of the hyper-contagious Delta variant detected at Nanjing Lukou International Airport in Jiangsu Province, with infections traced back to a flight from neighboring Russia.
It soon spread to provinces across the country, with state media declaring it the most extensive contagion after the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in early 2020.
The news of zero cases is cause for cautious optimism, after Shanghai reported five new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since Friday, all workers at the foreign cargo aircraft operating area of Pudong International Airport. So far, there is nothing to indicate the infections are connected to the outbreak in other Chinese cities.
Authorities have strictly separated cargo and passenger flights, and passenger flights remained unaffected.
However, travelers departing from Pudong International Airport now have to provide nucleic acid test reports before boarding their aircraft, or receive on-site testing after landing at multiple domestic cities, reports Shine.
Passengers departing from Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport do not need to take the test.
There are now five medium-risk areas in Shanghai; four in Pudong, and one in Songjiang District. The residential complex in Songjiang is where a female medical worker reported infected on Wednesday lives.
The city's disease control and prevention center has concluded that she was infected by the Delta variant from an overseas source, and her case is not linked to the current national outbreak.
All 31 provincial-level regions in the Chinese mainland have urged citizens not to leave the provinces where they live unless it is necessary, and to avoid medium and high-risk areas for COVID-19, with enhanced prevention and control measures, including quarantine, for those that have.
China has identified 13 high-risk and 65 medium-risk areas at the time of publication. Scan the QR to find out where they are, and see the latest numbers:
[Cover image via NIAID-RML]