Tourists are advised against going to Zhangjiajie in Central China's Hunan province as the city has become another key point of resurgence of COVID-19 epidemic spreading in China, according to local health authorities on Thursday.
All visitors in the city are urged to take a nucleic acid test for the virus and not to leave until they had the results.
Three asymptomatic carriers were reported on Monday, and one confirmed case on Tuesday, in Dalian, Liaoning province.
All four had been at the Charm Xiangxi Theater in the Wulingyuan scenic area on July 22, watching a show.
The three asymptomatic carriers flew to Zhangjiajie via Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on July 17. They stayed at Lukou International Airport for around two hours for flight transfer.
Zhangjiajie health authorities said that all audience members who watched the performance from 6 pm to 7 pm on July 22 are at high risk of coronavirus infection and should report to their residential community or local disease control and prevention centers for immediate testing.
The Charm Xiangxi Theater, which can accommodate an audience of around 2,800, has been closed for a week starting on Wednesday. People who bought tickets for the week ahead can get refunds.
As of 6 pm on Thursday, samples from 226,014 people had been collected, and one of the samples tested positive.
So far，at least 19 people from outside Zhangjiajie－four in Liaoning province, five in Sichuan province, two in Chongqing, two in Beijing, two in Hunan and four in Jiangsu province－have tested positive for COVID-19. All had traveled to Zhangjiajie or have had close contact with people who have returned from the city.
Authorities in Zhangjiajie have ordered the closure of places where people gather in large numbers to curb the spread of COVID-19 on Thursday. The shutdowns apply to shopping centers, cinemas, theaters, KTVs and dance halls.
The venues should cease business activities, disinfect their premises and organize all their employees to undergo nucleic acid testing, according to the city's headquarters for COVID-19 prevention and control.
The pandemic will remain under control if other provinces and municipalities reported no more variations of infections in the next one to two weeks.
"Nanjing has taken strict measures and the pandemic can be controlled within weeks if they work," Zhang said. "We should have confidence."
"Situation in the next one to two weeks will be crucial. The pandemic will expand if more cases not directly related to the Lukou airport emerge.""More decisive measures may need to be taken (if that happens)," said Zhang.
"Keeping calm is most needed at this stage," said Zhang. "People need to strictly follow the prevention and control measures, including wearing masks, washing hands frequently and having more ventilation. Avoid going out and slow down movements. Complete the nucleic acid testing gradually and the worst time will pass."
regular epidemic prevention and control
imported COVID-19 cases
locally transmitted cases
mutual recognition of health code
quarantining and monitoring of infectious diseases
to prevent the coronavirus from re-entering the country to cause a new epidemic
the principle of early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment