The leading infectious disease specialist in China considers a second wave of infections by the new coronavirus in the country unlikely, at a time when cases are on the rise in several European countries.
Zhong Nanshan said at a conference that, while China continues to fight sporadic outbreaks, existing controls mean that it is “unlikely” that there will be a widespread resurgence in transmission, “in the tens of thousands”.
“We have accumulated invaluable experience. The central government has adopted a strategy of blocking the spread at the epicenter, while practicing mass prevention methods elsewhere, “said Zhong.
“This is the key to our decisive victory,” he explained.
China has taken tough measures to control an outbreak in Kashgar by isolating the city, which is in Xinjiang, in the far northwest of the country, and testing about 4.75 million people in about three days.
Xinjiang has recorded a total of 54 confirmed cases to date. The first infection of this outbreak, the most recent in the country, was reported on October 24, but the origin of the cases remains unknown.
In Shandong province, in the northeast of the country, authorities are trying to trace a batch of frozen pork imported from Brazil, after the discovery, last Thursday, of traces of the coronavirus in a package.
Screening has become another important strategy for controlling the disease in China. On Sunday, more than 8,000 samples of products and packaging, in addition to employees who may have handled goods imported from Brazil, were tested by authorities in the city of Yantai.
The results were all negative, according to the authorities.
Customers at a steakhouse and shoppers at the meat market near Weihai, where some of the pork went, were asked to perform the nucleic acid test on Saturday.
Although foreign scientists have expressed doubts that frozen foods can cause infections, researchers at the Beijing Disease Control and Prevention Center and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences published findings last month that linked imported salmon to an outbreak in Beijing last June , which involved 335 cases.
Zhong said that China will continue to live with these “sporadic” outbreaks and that it should not relax measures to prevent the epidemic.
“The current environment in China is safe now, but this has been achieved with difficulty,” he said.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1.2 million deaths and more than 46.4 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 2,544 people died from 144,341 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
In Europe, including Portugal, several countries are introducing stricter confinement and social detachment measures, as infections increase.
The United States has also approached a record 100,000 new infections daily.
China is not alone in the Pacific, in its success in containing the virus. South Korea, New Zealand or Taiwan have also registered successful strategies.
Last week, Taiwan crossed a 200-day mark without new cases of covid-19, excluding imported ones.
This article is available in: Português