The outbreak which started in China's Wuhan, turned out as a pandemic within months, infected over 1.6 million people and killed more than 96,000 individuals globally. Many people including US officials and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of lacking transparency in dealing with COVID-19.
But China, which recently lifted lockdown from the initial epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, Wuhan, unveiled a new trial protocol for re-testing of already recovered patients besides intensifying the screening of asymptomatic cases. As per the experts, the country is currently under the threat of another Coronavirus wave.
China to face new Coronavirus wave?
After 76-day lockdown in Wuhan, China's National Health Commission (NHC) on Thursday reported 63 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which also include 61 imported cases, while two more people died due to the Coronavirus in the country. Currently, the overall infection cases in China is 82,924 while the death toll is 3,340.
The country has been battling with the outbreak since December 2019, and after several months China is returning to normalcy with factories and business coming back to activity. But the threat is not over, as the country is seeing a steady rise of new infections, especially coming from thousands of Chinese returning from abroad.
While people in Wuhan began travelling out by road, rail and air after the lockdown was lifted on Wednesday, April 8, the next day China released a new trial protocol on recovered COVID-19 patients which included return visits by doctors, re-testing and their health monitoring.
It should be noted that in China there are 77,758 people who had been discharged after recovery. Most of these patients were from Hubei province. As per the new protocol, these patients are asked to take their temperatures daily and look for fever and respiratory symptoms including cough and breathing difficulties. The protocol also added that designated hospitals will make plans for patients' return visit and re-testing for the next two to four weeks. The healthcare staffs will take the sputum samples for re-testing.
Chinese officials mentioned that if discharged people test positive for Coronavirus again, showing symptoms including fever and cough and CT scan results reveal that their lung conditions have worsened, then they will be considered confirmed Coronavirus patients.
A committee, headed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that was leading the efforts to contain the spread of the virus, has called for intensified detection and prompt response to the asymptomatic cases, which means people are being infected by the deadly virus but they are showing no symptoms. As of now, over 1,100 asymptomatic cases are reported in China which include 364 imported COVID -19 cases. All these people are currently under medical observation on the Chinese mainland, said NHC.
Asymptomatic cases rising in China
It should be mentioned that in countries like Iceland and South Korea, researchers identified people infected by the Novel Coronavirus without discernible symptoms. As per the scientists, it is possible that the number of silent carriers is greater than recorded.
It should be noted that earlier Professor Li Lanjuan, a member of Beijing's expert team on the COVID-19 in Wuhan said the control and prevention of imported Coronavirus cases was an 'arduous' task for healthcare workers and it "requires us to continue to intensify our efforts and work tirelessly to prevent the Coronavirus pneumonia epidemic from spreading in other cities."
Cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou have very frequent international communications. She is worried that "imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country."
However, now the question is whether the new wave already hit China. Probably no, it hasn't but considering all the past and recent criticism which indicates that China misled the whole world about the Coronavirus outbreak initially, it is difficult to confirm. China was accused of hiding the truth from people. Due to the lack of transparency, Beijing hasn't yet revealed details about the mystery behind more than 21 million cancelled cell phone accounts and closed 840,000 landlines numbers.