China Upgrades Jilin Province COVID-19 Outbreak Risk From Medium to High

May 17, 2020
Grant M. Gallagher

New cases came to the attention of public health officials within Shulan on May 7.

China’s state media outlet Xinhua reported May 17 that risk of a second wave associated with the virus in Jilin province has been upgraded from medium- to high-level as more cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection are emerging in the northeastern Jilin province.

“By Saturday, the province had reported a total of 125 locally transmitted confirmed cases, including 2 deaths and 95 who had been discharged from hospital after recovery. There are still 28 patients receiving treatment in hospital, all in the city of Jilin, and 938 close contacts of locally transmitted cases under medical observation,” authors of the report wrote.

In a press conference on the evolving situation held May 15, it was stated that new cases had come to the attention of public health officials within Shulan on May 7.

“After the occurrence of local cases in our city, the Shulan Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government acted swiftly, entered a state of total war, adopted the most stringent control measures, and went all out to prevent and control the epidemic,” the city’s mayor said.

Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, a member of the party Central Committee who oversaw outbreak control in Wuhan, was sent to inspect operations. According to another report, the state has quickly moved to replicate measures deployed during the lockdown of Hubei, “closing” more than 1000 residential buildings in the central city of Shulan and 1205 villages in rural areas.

In Hong Kong, many social distancing measures were adopted voluntarily. In a phone survey, investigators learned that 85% of those surveyed reported avoiding crowded places while almost all (99%) reported wearing face masks when leaving home by the third survey period. The city has seen about 1000 cases and 4 deaths from COVID-19 so far.

“By quickly implementing public health measures, Hong Kong has demonstrated that COVID-19 transmission can be effectively contained without resorting to the highly disruptive complete lockdown adopted by China, the USA, and Western European countries,” Benjamin Cowling, PhD, professor at the University of Hong Kong, said in a press release.