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21 Jan 2021

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China on brink: City locks MILLIONS in their homes for week –  new outbreak nears Beijing
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China on brink: City locks MILLIONS in their homes for week – new outbreak nears Beijing 


China: Several cities under ‘strict lockdown’ says expert

The city of Langfang in Hebei on Tuesday has confirmed its 4.9 million residents will be put under home quarantine for seven days and subject to mass COVID-19 testing. The number of new cases in mainland China reported on Tuesday almost halved from a day earlier and remained a small fraction of what it saw at the height of the outbreak in early 2020. However, local authorities are implementing strict curbs whenever new cases emerge to prevent the kind of economic paralysis seen a year ago.

The National Health Commission reported 55 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, down from 103 a day earlier.

Nevertheless, Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, and which is in the same region as Wuhan, where the disease first emerged, accounted for 40 of the 42 locally transmitted infections, with the capital and northeastern Heilongjiang province reporting one local case each.

Two counties under Langfang’s jurisdiction which border Beijing – Guan and Sanhe – have already announced home quarantine measures.

Guan reported one new COVID-19 case but Sanhe did not say whether any of its residents were diagnosed with the disease.

Coronavirus Langfang China

Coronavirus: Langfang is the latest city to go into lockdown in China (Image: GETTY)

Coronavirus Shijiazhuang

Coronavirus: A man in Coronavirus Shijiazhuang is tested (Image: GETTY)

Shijiazhuang, Hebei’s capital, has been hardest hit in the latest surge in infections, and has already placed its 11 million people under lockdown.

The province has shut off certain sections of highways and is telling vehicles registered to Shijiazhuang to turn back.

Gaocheng district in Shijiazhuang is gathering more than 20,000 people living in 12 remote villages into centralised quarantine as part of the city’s COVID-19 control, state media China News Service reported late Monday.

Authorities in Beijing’s Xicheng district said on Tuesday that the confirmed COVID-19 patient from Guan county works at a building in the district.

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Coronavirus China

Technicians walk out of a surpermarket after collecting samples from vegetables (Image: GETTY)

At a village in the south of Beijing that shares a border with Hebei, residents were stopping vehicles and asking to see health-tracking codes on mobile phones.

A volunteer security officer surnamed Wang said: “Measures have tightened since January 8.

“We’ve to be careful as we’re near Guan, where COVID cases were reported today.”

At a Beijing highway checkpoint near the border with Hebei, police officers in protective gowns ordered a car entering Beijing to return to Hebei after the driver was unable to show proof that he had passed a COVID-19 test.

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Shijiazhuang

The Chinese city of Shijiazhuang is also in lockdown (Image: DW)

Coronavirus figures worldwide

Coronavirus figures worldwide (Image: Express)

The guideline also said that drivers should get a nucleic acid test for coronavirus every week and be vaccinated in order to work.

Other provinces in China are reporting new confirmed or asymptomatic cases.

Heilongjiang province reported 36 new asymptomatic cases in Wangkui county, which also went into lockdown on Monday.

Controversially, authorities in China do not classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed COVID-19 infections.

Coronavirus WHO

Coronavirus: The biggest contributors to the WHO (Image: Express)

The cities of Yichun and Qiqihar in Heilongjiang today reported one and seven new asymptomatic cases linked to Wangkui, respectively.

The city of Changchun – the capital of neighbouring Jilin province – reported seven new asymptomatic patients on Jan. 11, four of whom had travelled from Wangkui recently.

Residential compounds that these patients lived in were put into lockdown, preventing people and vehicles from leaving the premises.

Authorities in Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged in late 2019, on Monday launched contact tracing work after two infected people from Hebei visited the city.

Coronavirus vaccine production

Coronavirus vaccine production locations (Image: Express)

Across China, the number of new asymptomatic cases rose to 81 from 76 a day earlier.

In a rare move, Jinzhong, a city in Shanxi province that shares a border with Shijiazhuang, said on Tuesday that it will administer COVID-19 tests on all travellers from Hebei on arrival, on top of other mandatory COVID-19 tests.

Jinzhong reported on Monday two asymptomatic patients who had returned from Hebei.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in mainland China now stands at 87,591, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.



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