China has released new measures to try and prevent asymptomatic “silent carriers” of coronavirus from causing a second wave of infections.
Mainland China reported 63 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, up from 62 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.
Of those, 61 were travellers arriving from overseas, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in China to 81,865.
Aside from curbing an influx of infected travellers from abroad, China’s other concern is managing asymptomatic people, or virus carriers who exhibit no clinical symptoms such as a fever or a cough.
China reported 56 new asymptomatic cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of such cases to 657 since data for such infections were published daily from April 1.
The State Council, or Cabinet, on Wednesday published new rules to manage asymptomatic carriers, or what some state media described as “silent carriers” of the virus.
Under the regulations, medical institutions must report detection of asymptomatic cases within two hours of their discovery.
Local governments must then identify all known close contacts of the case within 24 hours.
Asymptomatic patients will be quarantined for 14 days, and will be counted as confirmed cases if they start to show symptoms.
People who have had close contact with them must also be quarantined for two weeks.
Earlier this week, a new function appeared on WeChat allowing people to check if they have ever sat on trains and planes near an asymptomatic carrier who later became a confirmed case.
The heightened sense of caution came as restrictions on outbound movement of people from Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province and epicentre of the outbreak in China, were lifted on Wednesday after a virtual lockdown of over two months.