China fires two health officials after new virus outbreak

China fires two health officials after new virus outbreak

The president of a hospital in Qingdao, a city in northern China, and the head of the health committee were fired after the recent coronavirus outbreak in China, authorities said Thursday.

A brief notice on the official microblogging of the Qingdao municipal government on Thursday revealed that Sui Jianhua, director of the Health Commission, and Deng Kai, chairman of the Qingdao Thoracic and Cardiovascular Hospital, were under further investigation. No other details were provided.

Authorities ordered testing of all 9 million people in the city after a total of 12 cases were found, including those who showed no symptoms over the weekend, the first local spread in China in about two months.

A similar mass testing campaign has occurred since the previous outbreak. The Qingdao Health Department said it started testing with “closer contact, closer contact, more routine contact” and is gradually expanding to all areas of the city.

Qingdao is a major commercial port and industrial center, famous for electronics and China’s most famous brewery, and home to the Northern Fleet of the Chinese Navy.

China, where the coronavirus was first discovered at the end of last year, eradicated most of the virus at home, but is on the lookout for import cases and the second wave of domestic spread.

Qingdao reported that more than 8 million tests were performed on Wednesday, and out of nearly 5 million results, no further cases were found.

On Thursday, the National Health Commission reported 11 new cases in the last 24 hours, of which 10 were imported. Other cases marked asymptomatic were discovered on September 24 and reclassified as confirmed cases.

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The hospital was treating 240 people with COVID-19, while the other 392 tested positive without symptoms or were observed in isolation with suspected cases.

China reported 4,634 deaths out of 85,622 cases.

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