SHANGHAI: Urumqi, the capital of China’s far western region of Xinjiang, said it has launched emergency response plan after the city reported 16 new coronavirus cases on Friday (Jul 17).
The regional government said all recent new infections and asymptomatic cases reported in the autonomous region were in Urumqi, it said on its official Weibo account on Saturday.
Xinjiang, home to most of China’s Uighur ethnic minority, has so far mostly avoided the worst of the coronavirus pandemic which erupted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
As of Jul 17, the region reported a total of 17 coronavirus cases, plus 11 asymptomatic cases. Another 269 people were under medical observation, according to the regional health commission.
The city launched emergency response plan on Friday to analyse confirmed cases and asymptomatic infections, state broadcaster CCTV reported, adding the government would carry out epidemiological investigations to trace the source of the infection in order to make sure no one was missed.
“The epidemic situation is generally controllable,” Rui Baoling, the director of the disease control and prevention centre in Urumqi was quoted as saying to the state media.
Epidemic control measures in the city has led to the cancellation of more than 600 scheduled flights at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, or more than 80 per cent of the daily total, figures from aviation data firm Variflight showed.
Urumqi also suspended subway services from late Thursday.
Including the 16 cases in Urumqi, China reported 22 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Jul 17, up from 10 cases a day earlier, the health authority said on Saturday. Six others were imported cases.
China reported 14 new asymptomatic patients, up from five a day earlier.
China’s capital city of Beijing suffered a flare-up of coronavirus infections last month, with the government re-imposing strict control measures that were used across the country earlier in the year to stifle the first wave of infections. The measures appear to have doused the recent virus clusters in Beijing.
As of Friday, mainland China had 83,644 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.