The initial epicentre for Novel Coronavirus, China reported a drop in its daily tally of new COVID-19 cases on Monday, reversing four straight days of increases, as Beijing ramped up measures to contain the number of infections arriving from outside the country.
Meanwhile, a top Coronavirus expert from China has sounded an alarm while stating that the Asian country is facing a second outbreak due to the increasing number of infections detected among new arrivals from abroad and mentioned that she was "very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country."
Chinese Coronavirus expert
The 73-year-old Professor Li Lanjuan, a member of Beijing's expert team on the virus led the medical staffs to fight against the COVID-19 in Wuhan for more than 50 days. Recently she told China News that the control and prevention of imported Coronavirus cases was an 'arduous' task for healthcare workers. She also added, "This requires us to continue to intensify our efforts and work tirelessly to prevent the coronavirus pneumonia epidemic from spreading in other cities."
As per Prof Li, 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."
Prof Li also demanded medical experts identify those who were attacked by the Coronavirus but have not been officially diagnosed and warned that they could re-ignite the epidemic in China.
It should be noted that as per reports doctors in the Chinese city Guangzhou have diagnosed a COVID-19 patient who fell sick after having close contact with a female who was entering China from Turkey and it became the first coronavirus case in China with a direct link to an imported case. The Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission called it "a case related to an imported case" in a statement.
The 54-year-old patient, known by Jin, experienced muscle pain and a lack of strength on March 17 after contacting the woman and was taken to the hospital on March 20 as he developed a slight fever. He was tested positive on March 21.
He came in contact with 34-year-old Lin who went to Istanbul for a business trip from January 22 to March 8. The woman flew back to Guangzhou on March 9 via Bangkok but at that time she didn't show any symptoms. Later, on March 21 she was diagnosed with the Coronavirus after city's infectious disease authority gave her a test.
As reported by People's Daily, experts from Guangzhou said, "Cases related to imported cases are the second-generation cases brought in from abroad. It means the close contacts of [the imported cases] have been transmitted and fallen ill."
It should be mentioned that the officials have asked all the cities in China to keep arriving travellers from the Coronavirus affected countries under a 14-day mandatory quarantine even if they didn't show symptoms. Even though on Monday Chinese officials reported no new local cases of the deadly virus, they confirmed another 39 infection cases among those from overseas.
WHO Plan of action
On Monday, during a virtual press conference WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
"More than 300,000 cases of COVID19 have now been reported to WHO, from almost every country in the world. The pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the 1st reported case to reach the first 100K cases, 11 days for the second 100K & just 4 days for the third 100K.
"But we're not prisoners to statistics. We're not helpless bystanders. We can change the trajectory of the COVID19 pandemic. Numbers matter, because they're not just numbers. They're people, whose lives and families have been turned upside down.
"Asking people to stay home and other physical distancing measures are important to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and buy time, but they're defensive measures. To win, we need to attack the coronavirus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspected COVID19 case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact.
"Solving this problem requires political coordination at the world level. I will be addressing heads of state from the G20 countries. I will be asking them to work together to increase production, avoid export bans & ensure equity of distribution on the basis of need."