China's Xinjiang finds asymptomatic coronavirus case in Kashgar

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s far western region of Xinjiang has launched an emergency response after identifying an asymptomatic case of coronavirus in the city of Kashgar on Saturday, the health commission said.

The patient, a 17-year-old woman, was found after being tested during a regular inspection and has been transferred to a hospital in the city, the commission said in a statement.

The discovery marks mainland China’s first local case since Oct. 14, when one was found in Qingdao.

Xinjiang had a cluster of infections in early August, but no new cases had been found in the region since Aug. 15.

All close contacts of the Kashgar patient have been isolated for medical observation and local authorities are carrying out epidemiological investigations, the Xinjiang health commission said.

Many Kashgar-bound flights were cancelled on Saturday, according to travel platforms.

China is regarded as having brought its pandemic under control after it found its first cases late last year. On Oct. 23, the country’s National Health Commission reported 28 new coronavirus cases and 27 asymptomatic cases, all of which it said were imported.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing; Editing by Mike Harrison