China's Qingdao city says COVID-19 cluster traced to two dock workers

China's Qingdao city says COVID-19 cluster traced to two dock workers

Qingdao in China is undergoing an ambitious programme of mass testing
A health worker takes a swab sample from a child in Qingdao, China. (Photo: AFP)

BEIJING: The cause of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a hospital in the Chinese coastal city of Qingdao was traced to two infected dock workers, authorities said on Friday (Oct 16).

The workers had check-ups in an examination room at the Qingdao Chest Hospital, and the room was contaminated due to insufficient disinfection and protection measures, a Qingdao health official told a media briefing.

One of the workers had tested positive for the virus in late September, but only developed symptoms after 20 days, on Oct 14, the Qingdao Municipal Health Commission said in a statement.

No details were given on the second worker. 

READ: 13 cases, 10 million tests: China swabs city of Qingdao after COVID-19 outbreak

READ: China's Qingdao completes COVID-19 testing for more than 4 million people after new infections

In September, Qingdao health authorities found coronavirus contamination on some packages stored by a seafood importer after two of its handlers tested positive for the virus but displayed no symptoms.

It was unclear whether or not the two handlers were the two infected dock workers.

READ: Chinese city of Qingdao punishes two officials over COVID-19 cluster

In response to the outbreak, Qingdao launched a city-wide test for the virus on Oct 12, and expects to complete testing all of its 9 million residents by Friday.

It reported 13 new infections this week, most linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, where infected travellers arriving from overseas had been treated in an isolation area.

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Source: Reuters/ga

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