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113 new COVID-19 cases reported in Sanya on Aug 4

Print english.sanya.gov.cn Updated: 2022-08-05

Sanya, a coastal city on the southern tip of Hainan island and a popular tourist destination, reported 113 new confirmed locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Aug 4, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 146 in the current outbreak that was first detected on Aug 1, according to the city's pandemic prevention and control authority.

The city also added 33 new asymptomatic carriers on Aug 4, with the total number of asymptomatic carriers from Aug 1 to 4 totaling 34.

The virus was sequenced and found to be the Omicron BA.5.1.3 variant, the first time this particular variant has been detected on the Chinese mainland, local officials said at a news conference in Sanya on Thursday afternoon.

They said that based on comprehensive analysis, experts believe the origin of the virus was contaminated imports of seafood at the Yazhou fishing port. It was most likely transmitted through transactions between Hainan traders and those overseas.

Local officials said Sanya has set up a special work team to conduct investigations, especially among fishermen and seafood traders, as one of the confirmed cases is a seafood vendor.

Sanya has imposed lockdown measures starting on Thursday in most parts of the city, in a move to curb fresh COVID-19 clusters. People are required to provide negative nucleic acid test results from within 24 hours before entering or leaving offices, public places and residential communities. Public transportation, including buses, trams, cruise ships and ferries has been suspended, according to the city government.

From Monday to Thursday, Danzhou reported seven confirmed cases and one asymptomatic infection, Lingshui reported four cases, Dongfang reported three confirmed cases and one asymptomatic infection, Linggao reported two confirmed cases and one asymptomatic infection, Haikou reported one case, while one asymptomatic infection was found in Ledong Li autonomous county, said the Hainan Provincial Health Commission.

Work tracing close contacts, isolation and control and medical treatment of the confirmed cases is proceeding in an orderly manner across the island province. Epidemic control measures have also been strengthened to curb the spread of the virus, said local officials.

They said a number of major scenic spots in and around Sanya have issued notices suspending business operations starting from Thursday to ensure the safety of the general public and tourists. Full airfare and hotel reservation refunds will be arranged for tourists who cancel their visits due to the current situation.

Also on Thursday, Hainan provincial authorities issued a letter to local fishermen, calling for their cooperation with governments at all levels and epidemic prevention and control departments so that they can do their job in epidemic prevention and control.

It said fishermen need to report before setting out to sea and check temperatures and take nucleic acid tests before returning to ports in Hainan.

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