To control the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), China sealed Wuhan on Jan 23, 2020 and soon expanded lockdown to other twelve cities in Hubei province. We aimed to describe the epidemiological characteristics in one of the cities and highlight the effect of current implemented lockdown and nonpharmaceutical interventions.
We retrieved data of reported cases in Huangshi and Wuhan from publicly available disease databases. Local epidemiological data on suspected or confirmed cases in Huangshi were collected through field investigation. Epidemic curves were constructed with data on reported and observed cases.
The accumulated confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatality in Huangshi were reported to be 1015 and 3.74% respectively, compared with 50006 and 5.08% in Wuhan till Mar 27, 2020. Right after Jan 24, the epidemic curve based on observed cases in Huangshi became flattened. Feb 1, 2020 was identified as the “turning point” as the epidemic in Huangshi faded soon afterwards. COVID-19 epidemic was characterized by mild cases in Huangshi, accounting for 82.66% of total cases. Moreover, 50 asymptomatic infections were identified in adults and children. Besides, we found confirmed cases in 19 familial clusters and 21 health care workers, supporting inter-human transmission.
Our study reported the temporal dynamics and characteristics of the COVID-19 epidemic in Huangshi city, China, across the unprecedented intervention. Such new epidemiological inference might provide further guidance on current lockdown measures in high-risk cities and, subsequently, help improve public health intervention strategies against the pandemic on the country and global levels.