May 14, 2021 (UPI) — China is reporting the first cases of local COVID-19 transmission in four weeks.
China’s Anhui Province and the country’s National Health Commission said three people tested positive for the novel coronavirus Thursday and Friday in Hefei and Lu’an. The three positive cases were women in their 20s or their 30s.
Authorities said one of the people had traveled from China’s northeastern Liaoning Province to Anhui on May 1. The same individual traveled across five cities in three provinces in the past 18 days, the Chinese health commission said.
Local governments have raised the alert level in Hefei and Lu’an. Residential and commercial districts have been designated as “medium-risk” areas, and large gatherings have been canceled, according to Jiangsu Xinhua Daily.
Mass testing is underway in both cities, and 3,048 people believed to have come into close contact with the three individuals are undergoing tests, the report said.
Anhui Province is imposing new rules. Any provincial resident who visited the areas deemed medium risk are required to report to authorities within 24 hours, state media said.
Liaoning Province reported an outbreak of COVID-19 on Friday.
According to Xinhua news agency, the province confirmed in total five COVID-19 cases. The Chinese media report said three of those cases in Yingkou were “asymptomatic.” An “overseas arrival” in the provincial capital of Shenyang also tested positive, the report said.
China could be on guard against new COVID-19 variants, as well.
He Qing, an official with the National Health Commission, said that China is preparing for potential variants with tests of inbound travelers and “sterilization” of imported goods arriving at China’s ports, according to Xinhua.
China had vaccinated more than 336 million people, or about a quarter of its population, by Thursday.