Kashgar, a remote city in China’s in the north-western region of Xinjiang detected more than 100 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the regional health authority said.
The authorities registered 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Kashgar. Kashgar is an Ancient City well protected under a Chinese government-sponsored renovation project in 2010.
The new cases marked mainland China's first local infections since October 14, when one was detected in Qingdao. Xinjiang was the site of a local cluster in August, but no new cases had been found in the region since Aug. 15.
Kashgar launched a testing programme on Saturday night covering the region’s 4.75 million people. As of Sunday afternoon, more than 2.84 million people had been tested and the rest would be covered by Tuesday, the city government said in a statement.
The Kashgar government said on Sunday all schools except universities will be closed through Friday but supermarkets and shopping malls would remain open.
Four towns in the Kashgar region were identified as “high-risk” areas, according to a statement from Kashgar city authority on Sunday night, and stringent controls such as travel restrictions are expected.
China’s national health commission dispatched experts on Sunday to guide coronavirus control work in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar.
The novel coronavirus was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year. As of Saturday, mainland China had 85,790 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll stands at 4,634.
(With inputs from agencies)