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Guangzhou residents register for coronavirus tests in Liwan district. Photo: Xinhua

Coronavirus: Guangzhou patients ‘thought they had the flu’, delayed seeking treatment

  • About 60 per cent of cases in the city’s newest outbreak self-medicated, health authorities say
  • Signs of easing with just eight more infections for the whole province
Nearly two-thirds of the Covid-19 patients diagnosed in an outbreak in a southern Chinese city thought they had the flu and delayed seeking treatment, public health officials said on Saturday amid signs of easing in the disease’s spread.
Yang Zhibin, director of the centre for disease control and prevention in Guangzhou, said nearly 60 per cent of the latest patients confirmed with Covid-19 self-medicated with flu drugs after experiencing symptoms including fever, coughing, fatigue, a sore throat and a poor sense of smell.

The city reported just eight new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total in this outbreak to 136. Of those, 129 were confirmed cases and seven were asymptomatic.

Chen Bin, deputy chief of Guangzhou’s health commission, said all of the eight new cases were identified during screening of residents quarantined in a hotel.

Chen said seven of the cases were residents from the Baihedong area in Liwan district and the other lived in Nanshan district’s Zhujiang Street community. Close contacts of the patients had also been quarantined, he said.


Guangzhou tightens Covid-19 controls as mass tests expose more cases in Chinese city

Guangzhou tightens Covid-19 controls as mass tests expose more cases in Chinese city

The outbreak began on May 21 and has been dominated by the Delta strain of the coronavirus.

All the cases can be traced to a 75-year-old woman in Liwan district. The woman did not have a history of travel outside Guangzhou but was infected by the highly transmissible strain first detected in India. She was discharged from hospital on Thursday.

The city then embarked on a programme of mass testing, carrying out more than 32 million tests in an area with a population of 18 million people. A further 10 million tests were carried out in the neighbouring city of Foshan to detect asymptomatic carriers. Guangzhou’s Tianhe Stadium was converted into a massive temporary testing centre, performing 1.5 million tests a day.

On Saturday, police in Guangzhou’s Nansha district said they were formally investigating a couple accused of hiding their visits to high-risk areas, China News Service reported.

The couple lived in the Zhujiang Street area and ate at a Liwan district restaurant on May 25. They sought hospital treatment on June 3, tested positive on June 5 and were accused of hindering disease prevention and control efforts by failing to detail their movements in a hospital questionnaire.

Provincial health authorities said the eight cases in Guangzhou were the only local ones reported in Guangdong on Saturday – no recent new cases were found in Maoming, Foshan or Shenzhen.


China’s southern Guangdong province in high gear to quash Covid-19 outbreak

China’s southern Guangdong province in high gear to quash Covid-19 outbreak

Meanwhile, the province confirmed two more imported cases on Saturday – one was a passenger from Nepal who arrived in Guangzhou and the other was a person from South Africa who travelled to Shenzhen.

In addition, there were two imported asymptomatic cases – one was a person in Guangzhou who travelled from Cambodia and another travelled from the United Arab Emirates to Zhongshan.

As of Saturday, Guangdong province had a total of 2,605 cases, of which 1,065 were imported and 182 are still in hospital.