A top coronavirus expert in China has warned that the nation is facing a new outbreak after it was discovered that new infections are being spread by new arrivals from abroad.
Professor Li Lanjuan, a member of Beijing’s expert team on the virus, said she was ‘very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country’.
Her comment came after health officials reported the country’s first case of someone who is believed to have contracted the disease, known as COVID-19, from another person returning from abroad.
It also came as life in former epicentre Wuhan is slowly returning to normal following a two-month draconian lockdown.
Prof Li, 73, told China News today that the control and prevention of imported cases was an ‘arduous’ task for medical workers.
‘This requires us to continue to intensify our efforts and work tirelessly to prevent the coronavirus pneumonia epidemic from spreading in other cities.’
Prof Li has led her medical team to fight the virus in Wuhan for more than 50 days.
She told reporters in Wuhan:
‘Cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou have frequent international communications. [I am] very worried that imported cases could trigger another large-scale epidemic in our country.’
She also demanded officials identify those who were struck down by the virus but have not been officially diagnosed. She warned that they could re-ignite the epidemic.
Doctors in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, have diagnosed a coronavirus patient who fell ill after having close contact with a person entering China from Turkey.