China’s Kashgar reports 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases

China’s Kashgar reported 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Sunday after one person was found to have contracted Covid-19 infection the previous day – the first local new cases for 10 days in mainland China.

According to Reuters, all 137 new cases were linked to a garment factory.

It was reported that on Saturday that the parents of a 17-year-old girl, who was found to have the novel coronavirus but showed no symptoms, worked at the factory, Reuters quoted an official from Xinjiang health commission as saying.

The new cases marked mainland China’s first local infections since October 14, when one was detected in Qingdao. Xinjiang was the site of a local cluster in August, but no new cases had been found in the region since Aug. 15.

On Saturday night, Kashgar had launched a testing programme, covering the region’s 4.75 million people.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 2.84 million people had been tested and the rest would be covered by Tuesday, the city government was quoted by Reuters as saying.

According to Reuters report, the Kashgar government said on Sunday that all schools except universities will be closed through Friday but supermarkets and shopping malls would remain open.

Four towns in the Kashgar region were identified as “high-risk” areas, according to a statement from Kashgar city authority on Sunday night, and stringent controls such as travel restrictions are expected.

China’s national health commission dispatched experts on Sunday to guide coronavirus control work in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar.

The novel coronavirus was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year.

As of Saturday, mainland China had 85,790 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The Covid-19 death toll stands at 4,634.

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China's Kashgar reports 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases