Photo taken on April 12, 2020 shows the Suifenhe Port in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province. (Photo/Xinhua)
Most worked at the large-scale venues in the Russian capital, a probe reveals
Most of the confirmed imported novel coronavirus cases in Suifenhe, a border city with Russia, worked in two large markets in Moscow, according to an epidemiological investigation by the Heilongjiang health commission.
The small city in Heilongjiang province has become a hot spot for imported cases after many people who recently returned to China via Suifenhe were confirmed with COVID-19.
By Tuesday night, the city had a total of 334 confirmed imported cases from Russia, the provincial health commission said on Wednesday.
"The investigation results showed that some of the imported patients had been infected in the environment in which they lived and worked abroad. Most of them worked in two large-scale markets in Moscow," said Hao Jun, an official of the health commission said at a news conference on Tuesday.
He added that because they had traveled a long distance in a closed environment and had transferred vehicles several times, they couldn't avoid infections when they dined.
All of the involved Chinese citizens returned from Russia. After flying from Moscow to Vladivostok, they traveled 190 kilometers by car and entered China in Suifenhe, according to the commission.
Hao also urged all Chinese citizens in Russia to avoid returning through the Suifenhe port of entry.
The highway port in Suifenhe has been closed since April 7.
"Designated hospitals in Suifenhe and Mudanjiang, as well as a makeshift hospital that has been transformed from an office building, have a total of 1,230 beds," Hao said. "The daily coronavirus testing capacity has improved to 1,600 since a mobile negative-pressure laboratory began operating on Monday."
The city has also received national and provincial medical support. A total of 289 medical workers from across the country have begun their work in Suifenhe and Mudanjiang.
In addition, medical teams from Mudanjiang consisting of 433 local workers and 1,000 medical workers from other regions in the province have been organized and will begin work if needed, Hao said.
The provincial and local health commissions have provided 15 negative-pressure ambulances and 3,408 medical facilities to Suifenhe to contain COVID-19.
The Heilongjiang health commission reported 14 new imported cases on Wednesday－12 returning from Russia, one from Italy and one from Japan, bringing the number of confirmed imported cases in the province to 340. Further, there are still 19 local cases in the province as of Wednesday.