BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) confirmed cases overseas have continued to rise in the last months, and many people overseas have chosen to return to China . This increases the risk of a large number of imported cases which may cause a relapse of the COVID-19 outbreak . In order to prevent imported infection, the Shenzhen government has implemented a closed-loop management strategy using nucleic acid testing (NAT) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and requiring 14 days of medical observation for individuals with an overseas tour history (Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan province and other countries). Our study aims to describe the status of COVID-19 infection among people entering Shenzhen, and to evaluate the effect of the closed-loop management strategy .
METHODS: We undertook a descriptive study and risk analysis by the entry time, time of reporting, and local confirmed cases in countries of origin . The NAT were completed in Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ten district-level CDCs, and fever clinics .
RESULTS: A total of 86,844 people from overseas entered Shenzhen from January 1 to April 18, 2020; there were 39 imported COVID cases and 293 close contacts . The infection rate of people entering was 4.49‰ [95% Confidence interval (CI): 3.26‰-6.05‰]. Fourteen imported cases (35.9 %) came from the UK, and nine (23.08 %) came from the USA . People entering from the USA since March 9 or from the UK since March 13 are the high-risk population . As of July 17, there have been no new confirmed cases in Shenzhen for 153 days, and the numbers of confirmed case, close contacts, and asymptomatic cases are 0 .
CONCLUSIONS: The closed-loop management has been effective in preventing imported infection and controlling domestic relapse . The distribution of entry time and report time for imported cases overseas was similar . This shows that it is important to implement closed-loop management at the port of entry.
Index: COVID-19, Closed-loop management, Imported cases, Prevention and control, SARS-CoV-2