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Dalian, a major city in north-eastern China, registered three native COVID-19 infections since Wednesday after confirming zero local cases for nearly four months. The city’s authorities urged its six million residents to not leave the city unless it is an emergency.
Officials are rushing to put hundreds under isolation and track down the close contacts of those infected.
This comes as China has been struggling with local coronavirus outbreaks.
The Western Chinese region Xinjiang has recorded 18 new coronavirus patients on Thursday.
This brings the total of active cases to 82 following an outbreak in its regional capital, Urumqi, last week.
Hong Kong’s daily coronavirus cases hit a record high on Thursday with 118 infections.
This also came after a renewed wave of infections has been hitting Hong Kong since the beginning of July.
Hong Kong now has a total of 2,250 confirmed cases and 14 deaths due to coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Dalian officials reported the first local infection in nearly four months.
The patient was a 58-year-old male employee from a local seafood processing company.
He went to hospital on Tuesday after developing fever symptoms.
The next morning, the patient tested positive for COVID-19.
Another two infected patients were announced on Thursday after they tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
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After tracking down the first patient’s close contacts, the local government detected 12 asymptomatic cases.
All three infected patients did not travel out of Dalian in the 14 days before they were diagnosed.
They also did not have any contact with coronavirus carriers.
It is unclear how the patients contracted the deadly disease but officials are conducting an investigation to identify the source.
The Dalian government kick started an emergency response following the three new cases.
The workplaces of the three infected patients have been sealed off and their colleagues are being quarantined and tested.
The seafood processor, where one of the patients worked, had to close 18 of their shops.
Officials are operating nucleic acid testing on nearly 200,000 residents in the areas where the three patients live.
Almost 600 people who had close contact with the infected patients are in quarantine and are receiving COVID-19 tests.
China has reported more than 85 thousand COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
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