Press Trust of india

Coronavirus: 8.27 lakh returnees to Beijing home quarantined

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Beijing, Mar 6 :  About 8.27 lakh people who returned to Beijing from an extended Chinese Lunar New Year holiday are currently undergoing a 14-day home quarantine to help contain the deadly new coronavirus, the city’s epidemic control office said on Friday.

The Chinese capital has so far reported 422 coronavirus cases, including eight deaths.

Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of the epidemic control office, said Beijing’s anti-epidemic battle has entered a critical and difficult period as the possibility of further COVID-19 infection from both outside and within the city is still high.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Friday said the death toll in the novel coronavirus outbreak has touched 3,042 in the country, while the confirmed cases have risen to 80,552 amid signs that the dreaded viral infection was stabilising, including in the epicentre Hubei province.

With the virus spreading across the globe, China is concerned about “imported cases” meaning those coming from abroad who could carry the infection resulting in new wave of cases.

On Thursday, the NHC said 16 imported cases of novel coronavirus infection were reported on the mainland, including 11 in Gansu Province, four in Beijing and one in Shanghai. By the end of Thursday, 36 imported cases had been reported.

Zhang said 1.61 lakh property management staffers and security guards are on duty for grassroots prevention and control around the clock.

The municipal government has dispatched 8.42 lakh masks, 27,000 thermometers and 4,350 items of protective gear to aid the fight at community and village levels citywide, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, China has stepped up production of medical protective supplies like masks, which became scarce after the new coronavirus infection surfaced in the country since December last year.

During the initial stages, basic medical gear like masks and medical suits were in short supply in the coronavirus epicentre Wuhan city and Hubei province, prompting China to make a global appeal to rush supplies.

China’s daily output of medical protective products skyrocketed from the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Wang Jiangping, vice minister of industry and information technology said.

The output of protective clothing has increased to 500,000 pieces per day from less than 20,000 pieces, Wang said.

Meanwhile, about 1.6 million N95-rated medical masks were produced to ensure medical staff at the forefront of the battle against the epidemic are well-equipped, while the daily output of regular masks reached 100 million units, the vice minister said.

With the efforts of work resumption, production of other supplies and medical equipment has also seen a robust growth, Wang said.

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