Beijing reported the first indigenous case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that might have been transmitted by an overseas returnee on Monday, a health official said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that the patient might have gotten infected from a shared staircase.
The man, surnamed Liu, is 42 years old and lives in Haidian District. He had no travel history to Hubei or other high-risk areas two weeks before the onset of illness.
His downstairs neighbor, surnamed Li, returned from Britain on March 5 and was confirmed as a COVID-19 patient on March 12. Li ventured out for activities in the community and went to a supermarket while under quarantine through shared building stairs. He began to have symptoms on March 9 and walked to the hospital via the stairs on March 11.
Liu developed fever and fatigue on March 10 and was confirmed as being infected with COVID-19 on March 23. He is the first indigenous COVID-19 case infected by a patient returning from overseas in Beijing, and his symptoms were mild, according to Pang Xinghuo, with the Beijing Center for Diseases Prevention and Control.
"Liu had used the same stairs and might get infected there," said Pang, who added that thorough disinfection had been conducted in areas where they visited or lived.
Liu's wife so far has no relevant symptoms and tested negative for the coronavirus.
Beijing reported a total of 142 imported confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, according to local health commission.
The capital city has demanded all arrivals from overseas to undergo concentrated quarantine and nucleic acid testing (NAT) starting from Wednesday as the number of imported cases of COVID-19 continues to increase.