Beijing: The authorities in China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, asked their residents on Friday to stay at home and not avoid essential excursions, fearing that the disease could worsen due to the steady increase in asymptomatic cases in days could recover after the nine-week closure was loosened in the city.
Asymptomatic coronavirus cases are those that test positive for the virus but have no symptoms and may cause sporadic clusters of infection.
China downgraded the risk of coronavirus in its Wuhan epicenter from high to medium on March 25 and resumed bus traffic within the city for the first time since the three-month ban.
Currently, 1,075 asymptomatic patients are being medically observed in mainland China.
Although no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases were reported in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, local health officials said 51 asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were discovered, for a total of 742, all under medical supervision.
According to official media reports, China is also planning to test Wuhan’s over 11 million residents, as asymptomatic cases have been reported by Chinese officials for the first time since Wednesday, amid international criticism that raises doubts about China’s official corona virus numbers.
Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak in China, urged its residents on Friday to stay home and avoid unnecessary trips as the city protects against an outbreak upswing, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The local government in Wuhan issued a message to the city’s residential communities to continue closed management of residents’ movements to ensure their temperatures are checked and they wear masks, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The announcement warned of waning vigilance given the increasing influx of people and the influx of non-locals.
Wuhan, foreclosed since January 23 for containment of the epidemic, is expected to lift restrictions on outbound travel on April 8.
The city’s public transport system has been partially restarted and there are clearly more pedestrians and vehicles on the streets.
The advice for residents of Wuhan to stay at home follows the concerns of the top leadership of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CPC) about a second wave of infections.
Criticized by the international community for acting too late to curb COVID-19, which broke out in December last year, the CPC leadership appeared to be interested in averting a recovery, despite gradually opening up the province and country, to return to normal.
The leading group of officials, led by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, called on Thursday for improved treatment of asymptomatic cases through measures such as screening, reporting, quarantine, medical intervention, close contact management and daily disclosure of information, an official press release said.
Authorities in Wuhan are currently considering whether the government should test all residents to find asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers while the public is concerned about a second outbreak, the daily’s report said.