More COVID-19 outbreaks in China similar to the ongoing one in Beijing are likely because the pandemic has yet to be contained globally, but they will be brought under control quickly, a senior public health expert said.

“With the massive global pandemic going on, it is very natural that the outbreak occurred in Beijing, and it would be no surprise if a similar outbreak happened accidentally in another area in China,” said Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Image/Robert Herriman

“However, I am confident that such local outbreaks will be effectively suppressed once they are identified, as we have experience in COVID-19 epidemic control in Wuhan and competent public health professionals, including community health workers and CDC workers.”

Residents in Beijing’s low-risk areas no longer need to have negative nucleic acid test results when leaving the city starting on Saturday, as the capital has contained the spread of the recent cluster of infections, a senior municipal official said on July 3.

“The daily number of new confirmed cases in the city is falling from 36 at the peak to current single digits,” said Pan Xuhong, deputy director of the municipal public security bureau. “The number of new reported cases has stayed at a low level.”

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“Very few cases were found via mass screening, while most of the cases were under epidemic control measures,” he said. “Based on this, we will continue the strict virus control and prevention measures for people in the high-and medium-risk areas, but no longer require test results for people in low-risk areas.”

Beijing reported two new cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 331 since the city found the first case of the cluster on June 11.

As of July 5, the National Health Commission had received reports of 83,557 confirmed cases and 4,634 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps on the Chinese mainland.

Listen to interview from Jan. 10, 2020: