‘Epidemic stopped’ – Chinese city declares pandemic OVER after latest mass testing

‘Epidemic stopped’ – Chinese city declares pandemic OVER after latest mass testing

The city had an influx of cases in April when Chinese nationals began returning from Russia. Wang Wenli, Mayor of Mudanjiang said only Monday only 19 asymptomatic cases were found with 1,529 close contacts being traced. Sun Dianjun, director of a provincial panel overseeing the coronavirus control efforts, said: “Based on the nucleic acid testing results, I think the epidemic in Mudanjiang has stopped.”

Mudanjiang’s mass testing came a month after Wuhan did similar for its population.

The Wuhan Health Commission said that viral cultures taken from 300 asymptomatic carriers detected in the mass tests came back negative.

This indicated there was either a low amount of virus or absence of a “live virus” that could make people sick.

The 1,174 close contacts of the asymptotic cases all tested negative.

This suggests these people are no longer infectious.

The commission explained: “The viral culture tests were conducted to make the epidemic control work more precise, to manage the symptom-free carriers in a more scientific way and to let the whole country including the public of Wuhan feel more relieved.

Zhang Dingyu, vice director of the Hubei Health Commission, told the Yangtze Daily: “We did this on the 300 asymptomatic cases so that we can know if there is ‘live virus’ in their bodies and what the virus amount is.

“That way we can understand the infectiousness of the cases and can manage them accordingly.”

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However, a study conducted by researchers at Harvard medical school, Boston University of Public Health and Boston children’s hospital looked at images of car parks outside Wuhan hospitals.

They have hypothesised the virus hit the city as early as August 2019.

This is when a steep increase in vehicles is spotted.

The peak occurs in December.

China’s foreign ministry has described the study as “extremely absurd”.

As per The Guardian, according to the study search terms from “cough” and “diarrhoea” rose at this time.

This may have coincided with influenza season, but diarrhoea is a symptom of coronavirus.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday: “I think it is absurd, actually extremely absurd, to draw this kind of conclusion based on superficial observations such as traffic volume.”

Paul Digard, a virologist professor at the University of Edinburgh, added: “It’s important to remember that the data are only correlative and (as the authors admit) cannot identify the cause of the uptick. By focusing on hospitals in Wuhan, the acknowledged epicentre of the outbreak, the study forces the correlation. It would have been interesting (and possibly much more convincing) to have seen control analyses of other Chinese cities outside of the Hubei region.”

Published at Wed, 10 Jun 2020 02:41:00 +0000