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Going to Guangzhou? Test is waiting
Update: 2020-03-20     Source: chinadaily.com.cn

All passengers heading into Guangzhou, Guangdong province, including both foreigners and Chinese residents, are now required to be tested for the coronavirus when they arrive at exit and entry ports.

The rule took effect on Thursday, according to a senior official from the city government.

Gao Yuyue, deputy secretary-general of Guangzhou city government, said the tests are free to all passengers entering the city, but people are required to pay for centralized isolation or treatment needed in the fight against the epidemic in the province.

"The city's health and related departments require all inbound passengers from abroad to be sent to designated venues for centralized isolation for two weeks of medical observation beginning on Wednesday," Gao said at a news conference on Thursday.

The move aims to protect the health and safety of local residents and prevent imported infections, he said.

Meanwhile, Gao urged departments and organizations in the city to offer more, and better, targeted services to people coming to the southern metropolis.

As a national central city, Guangzhou — a key mainland city for exchanges with foreign countries — is now going all-out to prevent imported infections. The total number of confirmed cases outside China has now surpassed the figures recorded domestically.

Guangzhou is now facing growing pressure in preventing imported infections, as the number of people coming to the city has been rising in recent weeks, he said.

The city has reported no local confirmed cases for three weeks but a total of 12 imported infections since Feb 27, Gao said.

The city reported a total of five imported cases on Tuesday alone, he added.

The patients, including four from the United Kingdom, four from the Philippines, two from France and two from Thailand, have been sent to Guangzhou No. 8 People's Hospital, a designated hospital for COVID-19 patients to receive treatment in isolation, Gao said.

To prevent and corral imported infections, Gao urged students who are now studying abroad not to return to Guangzhou at the moment.

"Most students from Guangzhou are now studying in North American, Europe and other Western countries and regions, and it usually takes hours for them to fly home, increasing the risk of being infected," he said.

"Many passengers will become very tired after their long journeys and that would certainly lower their immune system," Gao added.

As of Wednesday, Guangdong had reported a total of 28 imported coronavirus cases, the Guangdong Health Commission said.

In one of the cases in Meizhou in eastern Guangdong, a Brazilian who works as a physical therapist for a local soccer club — Meizhou Hakka Club — was confirmed with COVID-19 pneumonia on Wednesday, according to a statement released by the Meizhou Health Commission on Thursday.

The patient is now hospitalized in a local designated hospital for isolated treatment. He was reported to have had close contact with a Brazilian soccer player in the same club. That player was confirmed with COVID-19 when he returned to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport along with his team on Tuesday after taking part in training in Thailand.

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