China sees growing COVID-19 threat as more cities locked down

  • China sees growing COVID-19 threat as more cities locked down

China sees growing COVID-19 threat as more cities locked down

Chinese health experts warned that the coronavirus spreading in China appears to be more infectious and transmissible, and asymptomatic infections, especially silent infections in villages, have become a new and big challenge for China, judging from the ongoing Shijiazhuang outbreak, reported Global Times.

China reported a drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours amid a flurry of new measures in Hebei province surrounding Beijing, ranging from home quarantines starting on Tuesday in one county and a lockdown of the provincial capital.

The Chinese mainland yesterday reported 179 COVID positive cases including 76 asymptomatic cases, the National Health Commission said today.

China transferred more than 20 thousand people on Monday from Shijiazhuang in Hebei province to designated quarantine areas for medical observation due to rising coronavirus cases.

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.

On Wednesday, the government of northeastern Heilongjiang - with a population of 37.5 million people - declared an "emergency state", telling residents not to leave the province unless absolutely necessary, and to cancel conferences and gatherings.

State TV did not say how many COVID cases were reported in the county, but authorities in Beijing's Xicheng district said on Tuesday that a Guan county resident who works at a building in the district has been diagonosed with COVID-19.

At a Beijing highway checkpoint near the border with Hebei, police officers in protective gowns ordered a auto entering Beijing to return to Hebei after the driver was unable to show proof that he had passed a COVID-19 test. Many provinces have asked migrant workers to refrain from traveling during the break.

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

A new guideline from the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control recommended that taxi and ride-hailing operators suspend car-pooling services, and that drivers should get weekly DNA tests and be vaccinated in order to work, the ruling Communist Party-backed Beijing Daily reported.

Other provinces in China are reporting new confirmed or asymptomatic cases, as well. China does not classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed COVID-19 infections.

The total number of confirmed cases reported in mainland China stands at 87,591, with an official death toll of 4,634.

A steady trickle of new coronavirus cases has surfaced in China's northern provinces since October, prompting strict restrictions despite the number of infections being small compared to outbreaks in many other countries.