More lockdowns in China one month before Olympics, New Year

Beijing, Jan 5 (EFE).- Several Chinese cities imposed confinements or restrictions on travel after finding new outbreaks of Covid-19 as the country prepares to host the Winter Olympics and celebrate the Chinese New Year, where mass displacements are common.

Apart from the confinement of the city of Xi’an, where residents cannot leave their homes since Dec. 23, partial quarantines have also been decreed in towns such as Ningbo, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, or in Yuzhou, in the central Henan.

There, only one family member can leave home every two days to buy groceries, although in the areas most affected by the outbreak the confinement will be total, the Global Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

Henan has only reported nine positives by local transmission since Monday, enough for the authorities to ban interprovincial transport, in addition to the suspension of events in public places.

In the provincial capital, Zhengzhou, with 10.3 million inhabitants, lockdowns have also been decreed in some areas and nucleic acid tests will be carried out on the entire population.

Buses and taxis will not circulate and places such as shopping centers or museums will be closed in the coming days as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of Covid-19, and those who reside in risk areas will not be able to leave the city without authorization.

Contagions and the corresponding prevention measures come less than a month before the Winter Olympic Games begin in Beijing, an event the Chinese government is determined to protect at all costs.

To enter the Chinese capital from other parts of the country, it is necessary to present a negative Covid-19 test carried out up to 48 hours before traveling there.

In addition, China will celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year on Feb. 1, and local governments are already asking not to travel if it is not “strictly necessary” to avoid the massive displacements typical of these dates.

An estimated 300 million workers in China’s large cities are rural immigrants, who usually return to their villages at this time to spend the holidays with their families, in what is known as the largest internal migration on the planet.

Until now, the country has developed a zero tolerance strategy against the coronavirus, which involves strict entry controls into the country with quarantines of between two and four weeks and numerous analytics of various types, in addition to mass testing campaigns and confinements.

According to the report issued Wednesday by Chinese health authorities, there are currently 3,291 active cases throughout the country, 31 of them serious.

Of the 41 new local cases counted Wednesday, 35 were found in Xi’an (Shaanxi provincial capital), four in Henan and two in Zhejiang.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, official figures say 102,932 people have been infected in China and 4,636 died. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button