Saturday, 23 January, 2021


Millions more in lockdown in China

Bulgaria New Coronavirus Outbreak Reported in China Tweet Share Send to Kindle
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2021, 19:34

Suihua city in Heilongjiang - home to more than 5.2 million - was sealed off on Monday after reporting one confirmed case and 45 asymptomatic cases.

But Hebei province in northern China has reported 560 new cases in recent weeks - 234 of which are asymptomatic - sparking a raft of new lockdowns and restrictions.

Some of the confirmed cases had been to Beijing, Wuhan and Jinzhong, a city in north China's Shanxi Province, according to the tracker published by Hebei authorities.

North China's Hebei Province reported a total of 326 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 234 asymptomatic cases from January 2 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, Vice Governor Xu Jianpei said on Tuesday. A total of 208 asymptomatic cases are under medical observation.

Langfang, southeast of Beijing, said its 4.9 million residents would be put under home quarantine for seven days and would be subject to mass COVID-19 testing.

"In the period leading up to Lunar New Year, we urge the public that those who do not need to travel, should not travel, and if one must travel, please observe all travel information and try to stagger travel to off-peak times", Wang Bin, an official with the National Health Commission, told a news conference.

The last time the Chinese mainland reported such a rise was at the end of July, when Urumqi, Xinjiang was hit by daily new cases of over 100, reported Global Times. Residents and vehicles are banned from entering or leaving the area unless it's for emergency.

Heilongjiang province on Wednesday declared a COVID-19 emergency.

Passengers scan a heath QR code at the exit of Harbin Railway Station, Harbin City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, January 12, 2021. "The county reported the 1st #COVID19 case on Jan 2 during this round of flare-ups in Hebei", tweeted Global Times.

Underscoring the risk of the virus spreading, the city of Changchun - the capital of northeastern Jilin province - reported on Monday four new asymptomatic patients who had travelled to the city from Wangkui recently. The person was previously an asymptomatic case, and later became a confirmed case.

"All family gatherings should be cancelled.all marriages postponed and funerals simplified until the epidemic situation has subsided", the Langfang city government said in a statement.

Also on Tuesday, China said a World Health Organization team investigating the origin of the coronavirus would arrive on Thursday in the city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged in late 2019, after a delay that Beijing has called a "misunderstanding".

Meanwhile, Brazilian researchers say a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech was shown to be just over 50% overall effective after large-scale human trials in that country, far below the 78% efficacy rate against mild-to-severe cases announced just last week.

Authorities do not classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed COVID-19 infections.

On Tuesday, Beijing authorities announced that the procuratorate had begun an investigation into a person who was confirmed with COIVD-19, but did not identify all of their close contacts, and may have led to a five-year-old becoming infected with the coronavirus.

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