Cities around Beijing confined due to outbreaks

Beijing, Aug 29 (EFE).- The city of Shijiazhuang remained under confinement Monday in four of its districts with paralyzed public transportation as a result of a resurgence of Covid-19 that spread throughout the province of Hebei, which surrounds the capital, Beijing.

The city, with 11 million inhabitants and located less than 300 kilometers from Beijing, announced the confinement after carrying out a massive campaign of PCR tests Saturday in the most affected districts, which resulted in the detection of 30 asymptomatic cases.

Added to these decisions is the requirement to work from home for those workers who can and the temporary closure of numerous businesses.

Closer to Beijing, in the city of Zhuozhou, located 76 kilometers from the capital, a total stoppage announced Tuesday was prolonged and authorities said they would launch a PCR test campaign on its more than 700,000 inhabitants Monday, state newspaper Global Times.

Likewise, the port city of Tianjin, with 15 million inhabitants and 108 kilometers from Beijing, was carrying out large-scale PCR tests Monday after detecting 16 asymptomatic cases Sunday.

Protecting the capital from outbreaks is one of the priorities of Beijing health authorities, who reminded their citizens Monday of the recommendation not to travel to places in China where a case has been registered.

Recently, the country registered outbreaks, ranging from the southern tropical island of Hainan to the remote western region of Tibet, which had not registered cases for two years.

For more than two years, China has retained its zero-tolerance Covid-19 policy: since the outbreaks registered in spring, the inhabitants of large Chinese cities, including Beijing, have to undergo several weekly PCR tests to be able to enter public places and confinements have been decreed in areas where cases are detected.

Beyond the massive PCR tests and the confinements, the country maintains its borders practically closed to the outside: since March 2020, China has been closed to tourism and only national travelers and some foreigners with valid residence permits or non-tourist visas can enter the country.

In China, since the start of the pandemic, 242,307 people have been infected and 5,226 have died, although the total number of infected excludes asymptomatic people, according to official accounts. EFE


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