A new health station that can quarantine more than 5,000 inbound passengers is expected to start operation in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, before the end of this month, playing an important role in preventing the importation of novel coronavirus infections.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading globally, the Guangzhou International Health Station will help build a solid defense line for COVID-19 prevention and control in Guangdong, known as the "southern gateway of the Chinese mainland", the Guangzhou city health authority said on Thursday.
Guangdong, with a population of more than 126 million, has become one of the major front-line areas on the mainland to intercept and manage people with COVID-19 who are entering the country, it said.
The building of the main structure of the first phase of the station is complete, allowing it to open in Guangzhou before the end of September, the statement said.
Luo Xiaodan, deputy director of the infectious disease department at Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, said the new station will play a big part in preventing and controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
"The current quarantine hotels in the city's downtown areas are not designed for quarantine," she said.
Three locally transmitted asymptomatic carriers in Guangzhou earlier this month all worked at a quarantine hotel in the city. The first is believed to have been infected while collecting trash at the door of the room of a person who had come from abroad.
Guangzhou, which has opened many international flights, will help set a good example to prevent and control COVID-19 coming from abroad, Luo added.
All inbound passengers will be sent to the station for two weeks of quarantine upon arrival in Guangzhou, meaning they will no longer need to be quarantined at designated hotels, the city health commission said.
Currently, all inbound passengers must register a negative nucleic acid test result after 14 days of quarantine before they are allowed to leave their quarantine hotels.
The station, which will include a fever clinic, comprehensive medical clinic, blood purification centers and laboratories, will provide high-quality diagnosis and treatment services for inbound passengers.
In addition to 5G communication, internet of things and artificial intelligence, drones and robots will help distribute medicines and meals and disinfect wards and public venues.
Located in Zhongluotan township in Guangzhou's Baiyun district, the station will have 5,074 independent isolation rooms. It is about a 30-minute drive from Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital, a designated hospital for COVID-19 patients, and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, one of the major aviation hubs on the mainland.
The second phase of the station will be constructed in the city's Nansha district, located at the mouth of the Pearl River.