Chinese provincial capital locks down all residential compounds and shuts schools for its 11million residents after reporting 41 COVID-19 cases
- Tough measures were launched in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province
- The city detected 11 local infections and 30 asymptomatic cases on Monday
- The government said it would start testing the entire population from tomorrow
- Comes after Hebei Province, which surrounds Beijing, entered ‘wartime mode’
A Chinese city of 11million residents has locked down all residential compounds, shut schools and banned public gatherings after reporting 41 COVID-19 cases, according to authorities.
Shijiazhuang, the capital of northern China’s Hebei Province which surrounds Beijing, detected 11 local infections and 30 patients with no symptoms on Monday – the first time the region has registered native cases in over six months.
The city, situated 180 miles south-west of Beijing, will start testing the entire population for the novel coronavirus from Wednesday to prevent the spread of the disease, a spokesperson for the local government said.
Footage released by Chinese video outlet Pear Video shows health workers donning full-body protective clothing and goggles giving COVID-19 tests to residents of Shijiazhuang’s Xiaoguozhuang Village, which has been marked as a ‘high risk’ area due to a virus outbreak
Shijiazhuang has introduced tough measures to stop the spread of the virus. The government has locked down all residential compounds, shut schools and banned public gatherings
The emergency measures were announced after the entire Hebei Province entered ‘wartime mode’ earlier today in response to the health crisis.
Xingtai, a prefecture-level city nearly 80 miles south of Shijiazhuang, has also stepped up its restrictions after three residents tested positive on Monday.
Feng Zijian, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, told state TV on Tuesday night that the outbreak was likely sparked by a virus strain ‘imported from Europe’, but did not provide further details.
Feng said that experts from the Chinese CDC and National Health Commission had arrived in Shijiazhuang and Xingtai to instruct on the local governments’ counter-virus efforts.
Hebei reported 19 local infections and 43 asymptomatic cases between January 2 and January 4, according to data from the provincial health commission. The last time the province recorded locally transmitted infections was in June 2020.
A screen shot released by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows a worker disinfecting public bins at a residential compound of Shijiazhuang after the city of 11million reported local cases
A community officer is seen checking a passer-by’s body temperature in Shijiazhuang as the city escalated its counter-virus efforts. The city is situated 180 miles south-west of Beijing
Xingtai, a prefecture-level city nearly 80 miles south of Shijiazhuang in northern China’s Hebei, has also stepped up its restrictions after three residents tested positive on Monday
At a press conference held late night on Tuesday and streamed by state broadcaster CCTV, the Shijiazhuang government ordered all residential compounds and villages to conduct ‘close-off management’.
The authority called on the locals to avoid gathering and demanded that transport stations, wet markets, shopping malls and hotels tighten their surveillance of traffic flows.
All elementary and secondary schools must move their teaching online from Wednesday. Boarding schools which still have students must be sealed off.
As of midnight Tuesday, the city had given COVID-19 tests to 52,784 citizens to tackle the outbreak, thought to be driven by family clusters.
Footage released by Chinese video outlet Pear Video shows health workers donning full-body protective clothing and goggles giving throat swabs to residents of Shijiazhuang’s Xiaoguozhuang Village, which has been marked as a ‘high risk’ area.
Shijiazhuang is the capital of northern China’s Hebei Province which surrounds Beijing. Pictured, people wearing face masks dance at a public park in Beijing on January 5
China reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on January 4, the National Health Commission said
Nationally, mainland China reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on January 4, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, with 14 of the 17 local cases recorded in Hebei and 16 cases imported from overseas.
The provincial government-run Hebei Daily said the province had entered ‘wartime mode’, meaning investigation teams would be set up at provincial, city and district levels to trace the close contacts of those who have tested positive.
In turn, the close contacts of those people would also be located, the newspaper said, adding that isolation measures would be put in place and testing carried out.
Hebei would resolutely act as the ‘political moat’ around Beijing and strictly prevent the virus from spreading outside the province, the report said.
Beijing is scheduled to host China’s annual parliamentary meeting in March. Last year’s gathering was postponed by more than two months because of the coronavirus outbreak.
More than 85.66million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,854,372 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
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