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  • A medical worker collects a sample for nucleic acid testing, Shufu County, Xinjiang Uygur, China, Oct. 26, 2020.

    A medical worker collects a sample for nucleic acid testing, Shufu County, Xinjiang Uygur, China, Oct. 26, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 28 October 2020 (15 hours 6 minutes ago)
Opinion

Local health authorities launched emergency responses immediately, quarantined infected patients, and performed nucleic acid tests on millions of people.

China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is dealing with a new COVID-19 outbreak in its Kashgar prefecture, where authorities have confirmed 22 cases and 161 asymptomatic patients so far.

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The alarm was sounded on Saturday when one asymptomatic case was reported in Kashgar. A 17-year-old female villager from Shufu County, tested positive for the virus during the county's routine nucleic acid testing, a measure introduced in August to improve COVID-19 alert timeliness.

The local government launched emergency responses immediately. All close contacts have been quarantined for medical observation and massive nucleic acid tests are being taken.

"We have been racing against time," said Kasmu Ehet, a medical worker in Shufu who stayed up late to conduct nucleic acid tests. "Every second counts in stemming the virus spread."

By 5 p.m. Tuesday, Kashgar had finished nucleic acid testing for everyone in the prefecture, where some 4.74 million people have been tested in about four days.

For those in Shufu, the sudden virus outbreak has left many quarantined at home, but sufficient daily supplies and targeted support remain in place.

Community workers work around the clock in the Tuanjielu Community in Shufu's Tokzak Township, one of the four high-risk areas, to serve the community's some 4,500 residents, delivering food and offering medical care, among others.

"There are delivery stops in our communities, and we have a sound mechanism and competent volunteers to deal with orders from residents," a community worker in Tokzak, Wang Lijun, said.

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