A boy who had recovered from the coronavirus has tested positive for the contagion again 16 days after he was discharged from the hospital and passing a two-week quarantine in China.

The 12-year-old, known by his surname Li, has been put under isolation in Harbin of north China on Thursday following his positive result, the health authorities say.

The news comes as a major port city in east China has scrambled to quarantine hundreds after two handlers working for a seafood importer tested positive for the coronavirus, sparking fears of a looming new COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

A boy (not pictured) who had recovered from the coronavirus has tested positive for the contagion again 16 days after he was discharged from the hospital in China. The stock photo shows a young Asian boy wearing a face mask as he stands by the window looking out

A boy (not pictured) who had recovered from the coronavirus has tested positive for the contagion again 16 days after he was discharged from the hospital in China. The stock photo shows a young Asian boy wearing a face mask as he stands by the window looking out

Li arrived in Shenyang of north-eastern province Liaoning from the US with his mother on July 31, according to a statement from the health officials. Workers wearing protective suits check information of an inbound passenger at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on March 27

Li arrived in Shenyang of north-eastern province Liaoning from the US with his mother on July 31, according to a statement from the health officials. Workers wearing protective suits check information of an inbound passenger at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on March 27

Li arrived in Shenyang of north-eastern province Liaoning from the US with his mother on July 31, according to a statement from the health officials.

The boy’s mother was diagnosed as a confirmed COVID-19 patient while her son tested positive for the virus but displayed no symptoms.

After receiving treatment and passing a 14-day quarantine, the child was declared virus-free and discharged from a Shenyang hospital on September 8.

He was picked up by his father who drove him back to their home city, Harbin in neighbouring Heilongjiang province, on the same day.

The young former patient spent another two weeks isolating at home as part of so-called ‘health management’, according to the authorities. Li did not go to school during this period.

On Wednesday, Mudanjiang officials reported five more asymptomatic patients. Another four new infections were reported by the local authorities today. This file photo taken on April 24, shows a medical worker taking swab samples of a Chinese man for nucleic acid testing

On Wednesday, Mudanjiang officials reported five more asymptomatic patients. Another four new infections were reported by the local authorities today. This file photo taken on April 24, shows a medical worker taking swab samples of a Chinese man for nucleic acid testing

Ms Bi had her temperature taken again, which came back normal, after arriving in Shenyang on the same day. A worker wearing a protective suit checks the body temperature of a passenger at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on March 27

Ms Bi had her temperature taken again, which came back normal, after arriving in Shenyang on the same day. A worker wearing a protective suit checks the body temperature of a passenger at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on March 27

On Wednesday, the boy was taken by his parents to a local hospital to receive coronavirus testing. He reported no symptoms or discomfort.

Li’s results came back positive the next day but his father and mother both tested negative.

The boy has been put under quarantine at a designated hospital while nine of his close contacts, including his parents, have also been isolated for observation.

The apartment block where the family lives is under lockdown and disinfected by the local community workers, the official statement says.

The boy has been put under quarantine at a designated hospital while nine of his close contacts, including his parents, have also been isolated for observation. The file photo shows students walking into a primary school in Harbin on their first day back on August 31

The boy has been put under quarantine at a designated hospital while nine of his close contacts, including his parents, have also been isolated for observation. The file photo shows students walking into a primary school in Harbin on their first day back on August 31

The 12-year-old, known by his surname Li, has been put under isolation in Harbin, Heilongjiang province of north China on Thursday following his positive result, the health authorities say

The 12-year-old, known by his surname Li, has been put under isolation in Harbin, Heilongjiang province of north China on Thursday following his positive result, the health authorities say

So far, there have been no scientifically proven cases of someone catching the coronavirus twice, with experts tending to blame inaccurate test results or a lengthy illness. Some say it is not uncommon for parts of viruses to keep circulating even after recovery.

The traditional understanding of viruses suggests that people who have had COVID-19 already should develop a level of immunity that is at least temporary.

But cases, such as this one, call the idea of natural protection into question. As well as concerns about reinfection, there are also signs that people may simply remain ill for a long time with the virus still circulating in their bodies.

The news comes as health authorities in Qingdao, a port city of over 9million, has reported two new asymptomatic cases on Thursday – two male workers, aged 40 and 45, who were responsible for unloading imported seafood products. 

China appeared to have largely contained the virus outbreak as the country went over a month without new cases of domestic infection. Passengers are pictured wearing face masks as they are waiting to get off a flight from Shanghai at Tianhe Airport in Wuhan on September 24

China appeared to have largely contained the virus outbreak as the country went over a month without new cases of domestic infection. Passengers are pictured wearing face masks as they are waiting to get off a flight from Shanghai at Tianhe Airport in Wuhan on September 24

The new infections are the first domestic COVID-19 cases China has found in over a month after authorities had been recording only imported cases from inbound travellers.

The officials also found coronavirus contamination on some packages stored by the seafood company.

The importer’s products and facilities generated 51 positive test results, but no tainted products made it to market, the commission said, without identifying the items or their origins.

China appeared to have largely contained the virus outbreak as the country went over a month without new cases of domestic infection.

But the resurgence in Qingdao is not the first time in recent months when frozen products from overseas have been linked to the spread of coronavirus.

Authorities in Beijing and Dalian have linked their local outbreaks to imported food products.

As of Friday, China has recorded a total of 85,322 confirmed coronavirus infections. The country’s death toll remains at 4,634.



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