Chinese province bordering PoK reports 137 new coronavirus cases

All the cases reported in Kashgar prefecture in south Xinjiang

qingdao-testing-reuters Representational image: A medical worker in protective suit collects a swab from a woman for nucleic acid testing, following new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Qingdao, Shandong province, China October 13, 2020. Picture taken October 13, 2020 | China Daily via REUTERS

Coronavirus cases spiked suddenly in China with Xinjiang province recording 137 new asymptomatic cases on Sunday, a local health official said.

All the new cases were reported in south Xinjiang's Kashgar Prefecture after a 17-year-old female villager from Shufu County was confirmed as an asymptomatic carrier of the virus on Saturday during a routine nucleic acid testing.

Kashgar, which borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), has tested samples from over 2.83 million residents since Saturday, with test results obtained for 334,800 people. 

The prefecture vowed to conduct tests of about 4.75 million people, including 245,000 in Shufu, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The cases were all found related to a factory in Shufu where the parents of the female villager work, regional health commission deputy director Gu Yingsu was quoted as saying by the report.

The female villager was placed under quarantine for medical observation at a designated hospital in Kashgar, and has yet developed symptoms such as fever or cough, according to the health commission.

As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 85,790, including 265 patients still being treated. 

Altogether 80,891 patients have recovered and 4,634 others died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

There were five suspected COVID-19 cases on the mainland, while 7,871 close contacts were still under medical observation after 886 were discharged on Saturday, it said.

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