Can imported cases trigger a new wave in China?

By Cao Zinan | | Updated: 2020-04-17 14:42
A staff member checks the information of a passenger entering China at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, March 19, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The recent spike in imported cases will not trigger a new wave of COVID-19 outbreak, said Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory disease expert in China, in an interview with China Daily.

Q: Indigeneous new daily cases reached double-digits recently, as many people entering China via border cities turned out to be confirmed cases. Is there a link between the two? What's your view on the increase in local infections? Is it a dangerous trend?

A: If the increase in the number of indigenous cases is not significant, I don't think it is a second wave or a red alert. On the contrary, it's a result of our measures of early detection.

China has adopted a very strong first-level policy in the active prevention and control of COVID-19 in the previous three months, so that domestic transmission has been curbed overall. Currently, while China has basically contained the outbreak, the condition abroad is still relatively severe, and the number of patients continues to rise.

If the COVID-19 patient enters China from a severely stricken area, it is possible for them to infect local residents as long as there are personal exchanges. This is a tangible risk as now there is a huge gap in the number of infections within and outside the country, and it is impossible to stop international travel entirely.

At present, the awareness of society-wide prevention and control as well as self-protection has been gradually strengthened. Even if there is a small number of infections, early detection, early diagnosis and early isolation would prevent a situation like the initial outbreak. But a small number of local infections is inevitable.

At present, the most important thing in China is prevention -- that is, preventing a "rebound" in local novel coronavirus infections.

Imported cases and cases from people in close contact with them shows that the country needs to take preventive and control measures for those who have symptoms and close contact. So, it's necessary to detect early, take a corresponding approach, impose appropriate isolation and treat those with symptoms.

Please feel free to contact us by sending your questions to or commenting on China Daily app. We will ask experts to answer them.

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