According to data collected from clusters of infections, it was found that family members who had close contact with a COVID-19 carrier are over five times more likely to contract the disease when compared to those who have had minimal exposure to an infected person in public. Likewise, the rate of transmission among family members is 17 percent, while transmission in other social settings is around 3 percent.
Put another way, the overwhelming majority of new infections – up to 86 percent – are occurring in family clusters, with one single-family unit noting seven infections, the largest seen so far.
All of this comes as expats and locals continue flying in from other parts of the world, and China has imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine period on returnees, the vast majority of which are taking place in government-sanctioned hotels.
Given that the rate of infections within families is alarmingly high, Beijing’s CDC has restricted the number of people allowed in any given hotel room. Children over 15 years old must quarantine alone, while one parent is allowed to accompany a child under the age of 15. There was no mention of what would happen if the family had multiple children under 15.
For those families who have younger kids, it is possible for one parent to apply for home quarantine while the other hunkers down in a hotel. However, this is still contingent upon which country the family is flying in from, and approval from their local community. For instance, a family returning from a country defined as “high-risk” by the Chinese government would find it difficult to be granted a home quarantine. Additionally, it was not explicitly stated what age group is eligible for at-home quarantine.
Being separated from loved ones will be tough on any family, and as with all things COVID-19, the decision to place families in different hotel rooms is not one that Beijing’s CDC made lightly. However, given the facts and figures surrounding rates and methods of transmission, measures such as this are imperative if China is to mitigate the rise of new infections and hopefully keep families healthy and safe in the long run.
This post originally appeared on our sister site beijingkids.
Photos: runnyrem (via Unsplash)