Authorities in China’s southeastern province Fujian are tracing the recent sharp surge in Covid-19 infections to a single primary school after a parent of one of the students tested positive, according to reports.
The case first emerged on 10 September after the father of one of the students from Fujian’s school, who recently returned to Putian city from Singapore, tested positive and confirmed the outsourced case. Following due protocols, the Chinese national had completed two weeks in quarantine and tested negative three times, reported South China Morning Post.
The infected man’s 12-year-old child and his classmate also tested positive for the disease last week, just days after the new school term began.
In just a matter of four days, the cases have multiplied from one to more than a hundred, prompting the authorities to shut down schools, enforce lockdown restrictions and impose travel bans in the eastern province, local reports showed.
All residential areas of the Putian city entered a lockdown on Monday and all entertainment venues were also sealed off from public access by the authorities to control the disease spread, reported SCMP.
The outbreak has been linked to the highly transmissible Delta variant which has rapidly spread across the city of 3.2 million.
As of Monday, the authorities traced down 841 close contacts of the positive cases and further 1,690 close contacts of these close contacts. A total of 1,293 people have been put under medical observation in designated places, Xinhua news agency reported.
Fujian authorities have also ordered increased testing among students who have been exposed to the virus.
According to the National Health Commission, at least 59 new locally transmitted cases were reported in Fujian on September 13. A total of 102 community infections have been reported in three Fujian cities, including Xiamen.
Xianmen authorities have shut down areas of higher risk, closed schools from kindergarten up to high school. The locals have been asked to stay in the city and not leave for non-essential reasons.
Putian and Xiamen authorities have launched a city-wide testing on Tuesday to bring the surge in cases under control.
Another adjoining city Quanzhou also reported a surge in infections as it reported nine infections in the last two days, reported Reuters.
The outbreak comes ahead of a festive period in the country as it prepares to celebrate a week-long National Day holiday on 1 October. It is also set to mark the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday starting Sunday.