A Shanghai international airport plunged into disarray after officials ordered mass tests for COVID-19 for workers in response to a small group of cases discovered among cargo handlers.
Footage showed people in dangerous suits trying to contain swarms of people Sunday night at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, as crowds gathered to a makeshift coronavirus testing center in a parking garage. The Guardian reported.
More than 17,700 employees stationed at cargo-handling terminals have undergone testing for the virus, according to Zhou Junlong, vice president of the Shanghai Airport Authority.
So far, 11,544 people who had retested positive have not tested positive, Chu said.
Officials said the mandatory test came after two shipping workers who cleaned a container that had just arrived from North America tested positive for the virus.
Sun Xiaodong, an official with the Shanghai Center for Disease Control, said the strain detected in both cases was very similar to the one in North America, indicating that it may have been from outside.
Sun said that none of the injured workers wore a mask while cleaning the container, which was sealed and wet from the inside.
“Research at home and abroad has shown that the coronavirus can survive in closed and humid environments,” said Sun.
The National Health Commission said that China detected 11 new cases on Monday, including two locally in Shanghai.
But health officials said they had not found a link between the airport cases and the recent cases.
Officials said there have been more than 86,000 cases in the country since the start of the epidemic, including at least 4,634 deaths.