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Jilin punishes officials over latest outbreak

By Zhou Huiying in Harbin and Han Junhong in Changchun | | Updated: 2021-01-24 14:29
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A medical worker collects a throat swab from a resident in Dongchang district of Tonghua, Jilin province, Jan 20, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

A total of 14 officials in Tonghua city, Jilin province, have been punished for failing to prevent and control COVID-19 outbreak, local government said on Saturday.

Six top officials, including director of the city's center for disease control and prevention, director and deputy directors of Dongchang district's administration for market regulation, director of Dongchang district's health commission, and director of Jingyu Community in Dongchang district, have been removed from their positions, according to a statement from the city's disciplinary watchdog.

Eight other officials from departments responsible for epidemic control and prevention in Tonghua city and its Dongchang district received severe punishment that included a warning or one year's probation within the Party, the statement said.

COVID-19 cluster infections have occurred in Tonghua since Jan 12. As of Saturday, the city has reported 140 confirmed cases and 100 asymptomatic carriers.

Dongchang district had been adjusted to high-risk areas for COVID-19 from medium-risk areas on Wednesday and starting from Thursday night, no residents in the district will be allowed to leave their home.

Service teams composed of volunteers across the city have begun to provide free service, helping residents purchase daily necessities during their home quarantines, according to a statement from the city's epidemic prevention and control headquarters on Sunday.

Residents can order the commodities via mobile phone applications and volunteer will send the commodities to community workers who can transport the commodities to residents' homes.

For those unable to operate a smartphone, hotlines will available for them, the statement said.

Jilin reported 12 new locally transmitted confirmed cases of COVID-19, driving the caseload to 206 in the recent local transmission in the province came after the first asymptomatic carriers returned from neighboring Heilongjiang province, according to the provincial Health Commission.

And 29 asymptomatic carriers were identified, bringing the total to 119.

Neighboring Heilongjiang province reported 29 new confirmed cases and 51 asymptomatic carriers on Saturday, its Health Commission said on Sunday.

Twenty-six confirmed cases and 24 asymptomatic carriers were detected in Suihua city's Wangkui county, where the first asymptomatic carrier associated with the recent outbreak was reported on Jan 10.

As of Saturday, Heilongjiang has reported 382 confirmed cases and 509 asymptomatic carriers since Jan 10.

However, Suihua reported good news on Saturday that the first seven coronavirus patients were discharged from the hospital on Saturday morning.

All the seven, including six confirmed patient and an asymptomatic carrier, were detected in Wangkui and have been transported to a designated hospital for medical observation and further rehabilitation treatment.

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