Beijing strengthened epidemic control and prevention measures on Tuesday as one new locally transmitted COVID-19 case was reported following more than two months of zero local cases recorded in the city.
The patient in the case, found in Fengtai district, was a close contact of a recently confirmed case when they boarded train K42 from Dunhuang, Gansu province, to Beijing.
The contact arrived in Beijing on Saturday and reported to the local community after learning the confirmed case on Monday.
"The patient was sent to a hospital, and the local authority has closed the related areas and started epidemiological investigation," said Zhang Jie, deputy head of Fengtai district, at a news conference.
The authority has so far identified nine close contacts of the new case. Six of them had taken nucleic acid tests, all with negative results. The information on the other three has been delivered to Hebei province, according to Zhang.
The residential communities involved have been put under lockdown. A school involving one close contact stopped on-campus classes and started online teaching. Seven teachers and 92 students were sent to a designated location for centralized quarantine.
Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at the news conference that no people in Fengtai should leave Beijing unless it's absolutely necessary. Those who must leave the city will need to show a negative test result within the previous 48 hours and a green health code, according to Pang.
"Recently, several provinces and autonomous regions have reported cases, which has shown a long transmission chain," she said. "The public should continue to wear masks and strictly follow control and prevention measures to avoid risks."
Before the new case, Beijing had not seen any new locally transmitted cases since Aug 11.
The Inner Mongolia autonomous region reported seven locally transmitted, confirmed COVID-19 cases from 7 am Monday to 10 am Tuesday, local health authorities said.
Five cases were reported in Ejine Banner in Alxa League, and two were reported in the city of Ereenhot in Xiliin Gol League, the regional health commission said in a statement.
The five people work at a restaurant in Ejine and are close contacts of people confirmed to be infected in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.
A tour group of eight people traveled in Ejine from Oct 11 to 14, involving three scenic areas, one homestay hotel, four restaurants and one nucleic acid testing site for novel coronavirus.
Two of the eight were confirmed as being infected in Xi'an on Sunday, while four others were confirmed on Monday, and one was an asymptomatic carrier.
Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, also reported one case on Monday. The patient had joined the seven others traveling Gansu province and later in Inner Mongolia before returning to Yinchuan on Saturday.
Beijing's new case was a close contact of the patient in Ningxia.