A phase 2 trial of a CCP-virus vaccine candidate conducted in China has found that the vaccine is safe and induces an immune response, according to a new study published Monday in medical journal The Lancet.
CCP Media: viral outbreak in Xinjiang is slowing down
Development of the latest CCP-virus outbreak in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is expected to slow down in coming days, a public health expert at the city’s virus control and prevention conference said on Monday.
The region reported 17 locally-transmitted COVID-19 infections and nine asymptomatic cases for Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 47 and asymptomatic cases to 50 since the emergence of the outbreak on July 15.
Sixteen of the new cases were found in Urumqi, the region’s capital, and one in southern Xinjiang’s Kashgar prefecture, who was from the capital, according to the city’s Disease Control and Prevention Center.
“Initial analysis shows that the newly-conformed cases among those under medical observation are expected to be on decline,” said Rui Baoling, head of the city’s Disease Control and Prevention Center, citing epidemiology findings, such as exposure time and that the majority of close contacts had developed symptoms.
According to Rui, early cases of the outbreak In Urumqi are all associated with a group gathering and all close contacts detected have been put under medical observation.
Since Saturday, Urumqi has launched a citywide, free nucleic acid testing, beginning with neighborhoods that have reported new cases and among close contacts or residents with a fever, to timely detect those affected. Meanwhile public health intervention, including stay-at-home suggestions, reduced availability of public transport and closed management of residential communities, has started.
Those visiting from outside the city are receiving services such as free food, a place to sleep and testing, said a notice issued by the city’s epidemic response headquarters late Monday. Information support hotlines are set up as well.
All confirmed and asymptomatic patients in Urumqi were admitted to No. 6 People’s Hospital, a designated city hospital specializing in contagious disease.
“Over 280 medical care workers are working around-the-clock in our hospital, and we have adopted a combination approach of Western and traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of patients in our hospital,” said Song Yuxia, vice-president of the hospital, during the conference.
“We have started to cooperate with experts from the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, and the diagnosis and treatment plan will be optimized under their guidance in the following days,” Song added.
The Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council sent three expert groups in epidemic prevention, medical treatment and epidemiology investigation to Urumqi on Sunday to strengthen the city’s medical forces against the virus and carry out comprehensive investigation of the outbreak.
Since the first case in the outbreak emerged in downtown Urumqi on Wednesday, the city has taken rapid action to track down close contacts and implemented lockdown measures, such as reducing public transportation, preventing public gatherings, and urging residents to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus.
“We have taken measures to ensure abundant supplies at stable prices for citizens who are staying at home, and all of the community workers to stick to their posts to help people in need,” said Zhong Meiwen, deputy head of the city’s Market Supervision Authority.
Zhong said 1,024 law enforcement personnel were dispatched to 11 farmers’ markets, 282 malls, 750 restaurants, and 232 pharmacies across the city to supervise and inspect the quality, safety, and prices of the goods they are selling.
CCP Media: Beijing cleared of medium-risk areas, public health response level lowered
Beijing reported no new confirmed local cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, which means the city had zero new cases for 14 days in a row, said Gao Xiaojun, a spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Health Commission at a news conference on Monday.
From June 11 to Monday, the city reported 335 confirmed local cases, of whom 104 are still hospitalized and 231 were discharged from the hospital, which means more than two-thirds of the patients have recovered.
By Monday, Beijing had no high or medium-risk areas after the last community in Fengtai district was designated a low-risk area.
According to the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 communities in 11 districts have had confirmed COVID-19 cases since June 11. At the peak, there were five high-risk communities and 39 medium-risk communities.
As Beijing lowered its public health emergency response from the second to the third level on Monday, tourist services for groups from other provinces will resume as long as the teams are from low-risk areas.
Outbound tourist service will not be resumed, according to the city government.
CCP Media: HK sees new cases of CCP-virus infections, no classes before Aug 17
Classes of all Hong Kong schools, including international schools and kindergartens, would not commence before Aug 17, the city’s education chief announced Monday.
The date for school commencement has not been decided yet in view of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic situation in the SAR, Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said at a press briefing. The public would be informed when a decision is made and be given two weeks for preparation, he added.
The decision came as the city recorded 73 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, with 66 local transmissions and seven imported cases. The new cases brought the city’s tally of confirmed cases to 1,958.
“We have to take health and safety of teachers and students as well as of the general public as prime consideration,” Yeung said.
According to the secretary for education, special arrangement will likely to be made for cross-boundary students of Secondary 4 to 6 once the schools re-open. This is subject to more discussions with the mainland authorities, he added.
Such special arrangement, however, are unlikely to be made for those of Secondary 3 or junior classes at the beginning of the new school year, said Yeung. “We will work with schools to arrange home learning for these students, and provide necessary support,” he added.
The Education Bureau will pay close attention to the pandemic situation, consult health experts and liaise with the school sector in determining the arrangement for the commencement of classes in the new school year, said Yeung.
CCP Media: Cinemas in Shanghai reopen after six months of closure
Cinemas in Shanghai reopened on Monday morning after the China Film Administration lifted restrictions that were introduced in late January to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Tian Shan Cinema at the Hongqiao Art Center, one of the most historic cinemas in the city with 40 years of history, started preparations to receive its first batch of customers as early as 8:30 am on Monday.
The first movie that the cinema screened was “A First Fairwell” at 9:50 am. The movie is a story about familial ties told from the perspective of three ethnic Uygur children.