Workers install beds and clean up the site of a makeshift hospital in Changchun International Exhibition Center in Changchun, Jilin province, on March 5, 2022. The makeshift hospital will be put into operation soon. (Photo by Zhang Yao/China News Service)
Mainland reports 1,807 new confirmed cases in 19 provinces and regions
The Chinese mainland is making an all-out effort to contain the novel coronavirus, with outbreaks spreading nationwide.
On Saturday, the mainland reported 1,807 new confirmed cases and 1,315 new asymptomatic infections in 19 provinces and regions. A total of 1,412 new cases were confirmed in Northeast China's Jilin province, along with 744 asymptomatic infections.
Shandong, Guangdong, Shaanxi, Hebei and Jiangsu provinces also reported multiple cases along with Beijing and Tianjin.
To help curb the widening of the epidemic in Jilin, the capital, Changchun, prepared to open a new makeshift hospital on Sunday. Work to transform the Changchun International Exhibition Center into a COVID treatment hospital began on Thursday. The hospital covers an area of 15,000 square meters and offers 1,500 beds, China Central Television reported on Sunday.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan urged the provinces and regions experiencing outbreaks to clear COVID-19 cases, and control the epidemic as soon as possible by taking strict and resolute measures.
She said at a teleconference of the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19 on Saturday that areas facing severe situations should expand nucleic acid testing and strictly implement control measures including screening, patient transportation, and isolation and quarantine.
She stressed the importance of preventing the spread of cases by tightening management of people working in closed-loop environments, such as designated COVID treatment hospitals, ports and airports.
Schools and places where people gather should strengthen daily health monitoring and increase random nucleic acid testing to prevent clusters of cases.
Jilin is racing against time to carry out a new round of nucleic acid testing.
Zhang Yan, deputy director of the province's health commission, said at a news conference Sunday that the surge in confirmed cases has shown the Omicron variant is highly infectious and spreads at a rapid speed, with cases difficult to identify in the early stages of an outbreak.
She said Jilin will try to expand and improve its nucleic acid testing to trace confirmed cases as well as asymptomatic infections.
Management of key areas including schools, residential communities and villages will be strengthened to prevent the epidemic from spreading to other provinces and regions.
Medical treatment for patients and daily supplies for residents will be ensured, she said.
"We will add more designated hospitals and build makeshift hospitals as well to make sure that people have access to medical resources," Zhang said.
Shenzhen tightened control measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, after reporting 60 new confirmed cases on Saturday.
Starting Monday the city will put all residential communities, urban villages and industrial parks in closed-loop management, in which new cases are immediately isolated. It is also beginning three rounds of citywide nucleic acid testing.
Services needed to keep the city and ports running will continue, but all public transportation will be closed down until further notice.