Shanghai reported a new COVID-19 asymptomatic case at the community level on Tuesday despite the continued declining trend in the city’s total infection numbers.

A 28-year-old man tested abnormal during regular nucleic acid screening in his community in Juyuan New Area in suburban Jiading District.

The community at 898 Yongjing Road, previously a “precautionary area,” has been elevated to a medium-risk area, the Shanghai Health Commission announced.

“Residents must wear a mask, avoid gathering and maintain social distance as the number of people going out in the city’s ‘precautionary areas’ keeps increasing,” Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the commission, said.

According to epidemiological investigation, the man didn’t leave the Juyuan area in the past two weeks. But he had shopped at a nearby supermarket and walked near his community. All of the places have been quarantined and disinfected.

Thirteen close contacts have been quarantined, too, and have tested negative. Another 109 secondary contacts and 1,731 risk groups have also tested negative.

After the new case was detected, all the 1,735 residents in the community underwent polymerase chain reaction screening, with all testing negative, Wang Hao, deputy director of Jiading, told the city’s daily COVID-19 press briefing yesterday.

They are required to stay at home for two weeks and receive a daily PCR test.

Twice environmental disinfection will be carried out on the community’s public space, especially the stairs, hallways, doorknobs, delivery lockers and garbage bins, Wang stated.

He promised to guarantee the supply of daily necessities and medical services to the residents, especially the 382 seniors, patients and pregnant women in the locked-down community.

Shanghai has reported four COVID-19 asymptomatic cases outside quarantined areas since the city achieved zero community transmission last week. The other three community cases were detected in a village of Xujing Town in suburban Qingpu District last Friday.

According to stipulation, if any new case is detected in “precautionary areas,” the places will be rated as medium or high risk and subject to tougher prevention and control measures to stop further spread.

The number of local infections fell by about 20 percent to 387 on Tuesday, the lowest level since the city’s phased lockdown in late March. Apart from the community case, other infections were found among people in “locked-down areas” and central quarantine.

Meanwhile, residents are advised to carry hand sanitizer when going shopping at malls and supermarkets, and avoid touching public items, such as escalators, trollies and shopping baskets, according to Jiang Ning, an associate chief physician with the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Don’t touch your eyes, mouth and nose with hands. Keep at least 1-meter distance from others, stay away from people who are coughing, and use touchless payment,” Jiang insisted.

On returning home, they should throw away the mask, wash hands and disinfect their mobile phones and products if necessary, he added.

People should choose surgical or medical masks, and N95/KN95 masks if they have to stay in hospital or indoors for long or in close contact with others, Jiang explained, adding that they should avoid silk or fabric masks which have no protection effect.

When wearing a N95 mask, people should conduct a breathing test to check whether it is leak-proof. The mask should swell up when exhaling and shrink when inhaling.

Jiang noted that the outer surface of used masks has a high infection risk, so people should avoid touching it externally and be gentle when taking them off. They must wash their hands after removing a mask.

Shanghai, which is aiming for a June 1 exit from a citywide lockdown, is cautiously unwinding curbs and allowing more of its 25 million residents to venture out.

Still, most shops, restaurants and businesses remain shut and a work-from-home regime remains in place.

Yesterday, the city closed the makeshift hospital at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, which had treated 25,000 of the infected since late March.

Shanghai’s highly anticipated exit is expected to reignite the engines of its economy. Exports from the city, the world’s largest container port, dived 44 percent last month from a year earlier and imports fell by a third, the local statistics bureau said on Tuesday.

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