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Shanghai increases coronavirus brief frequency Updated: 2020-01-30

Shanghai will increase the frequency of informing residents of the number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the municipality from once to twice a day, to allow the public to learn about the latest progress of the epidemic in a more timely manner.

In addition to releasing a public notice about newly confirmed and suspected infection cases from the previous day at around 8 am every day, the municipal government will send a notice every afternoon about the changes from the first 12 hours that day, director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission Wu Jinglei said at a daily press briefing from the Shanghai government about the epidemic on Wednesday afternoon.

Wu said 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed during the first 12 hours on Wednesday, bringing the total number of such cases to 96, ranging from ages seven to 88. Five of the patients have been cured and discharged from hospital as of 3 pm Wednesday.

Seven of the newly confirmed patients were from Hubei province and the rest were residents of Shanghai, according to the commission.

The reason for the increase of the confirmed cases was mainly owed to a more widespread medical screening, not only at hospitals but also at highway toll gates, ports, railway stations and airports, Wu said.

Yin Xin, a spokeswoman with the Shanghai Municipal People's Government, said later in the afternoon the Foreign Affairs Office of the municipal government will invite consular officials in Shanghai to a brief on Shanghai's social situation and measures to battle against the coronavirus. Altogether 105 consular officials from 66 consular agencies have signed up to participate.

Liu Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, said domestic enterprises are speeding up purchasing protective materials during the epidemic, such as medical masks, from overseas with streamlined customs procedures.

"We've noticed there are medical protective masks imported from overseas arriving in Shanghai every day and the strained market supply will be eased," she said.