Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand on Sunday reported its first case of coronavirus outside a quarantine center in more than two months, although at first there was no indication that the virus was spreading through the community.
The patient was a 56-year-old woman who returned shortly before from Europe, said Health Director-General Ashley Bloomfield.
Like other travelers, the woman spent 14 days in quarantine and tested negative twice before returning home on January 13. He then showed symptoms and tested positive.
Health authorities would analyze the genome of the virus, but were working on the hypothesis that the case is a more contagious variant, Bloomfield said.
It was being investigated whether it was possible that the woman had caught it from another traveler housed in the same quarantine center.
New Zealand has eliminated local infections, at least for now. Bloomfield said authorities were working on contact tracing and diagnostic tests and expected to have more information on the case in the coming days.
For its part, a Chinese city completed 2,600 temporary treatment rooms while the north of the country fought new sources of infection. Single rooms in Nangong City, Hebei Province, next to Beijing, were equipped with heaters, toilets, showers and other facilities, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Special attention is being paid to Hebei due to its proximity to the capital, and the province has isolated large areas to prevent the virus from spreading further.
The provincial capital, Shijiazhung, and the city of Xingtai, which includes Nangong, are practically isolated. Residential areas have also been confined and massive diagnostic testing programs deployed.
The National Health Commission reported 19 additional cases in Hebei on Sunday. Heilongjiang province, in the northeast, confirmed another 29 infections associated in part with an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where about 2 million residents have been ordered to get tested, reported two new cases.
China now cares for about 1,800 people with COVID-19, 94 of them classified as severe. Another 1,017 are under surveillance in isolation for having tested positive for the virus without showing symptoms.