China is once again battling a coronavirus outbreak. In the country where the virus was first diagnosed, the epidemic had already been virtually eradicated for a year, but the delta variant is now also circulating there.
Even though the number of new infections remains limited compared to other countries, that is enough to take drastic measures in China.
In Wuhan, the city where this coronavirus first appeared at the end of 2019, no infections had been detected since May 2020. Now the government has decided to retest all 11 million residents after 7 people tested positive. 3 of them had symptoms.
China has been battling a series of new outbreaks for several weeks. The delta variant, in particular, is spreading throughout the country. New infections were detected in more than 20 cities in 12 provinces. In addition, 360 new cases were recorded in the past 2 weeks, the largest outbreak in China in months.
Compared to other countries, the number of infections is limited, but for China, that is enough to take drastic measures. Millions of people have to go into lockdown again and therefore have to stay at home. There is also massive testing, close contacts must immediately be quarantined, and travel restrictions apply in several places.
In the capital Beijing, all bus, train and air connections to regions where new cases have been detected have been cut. In addition, tourists are not allowed to enter the capital; only essential travel is allowed on condition of a negative test result. The government also asks residents not to leave the city if it is not necessary.
Zhuzhou, a city in Hunan province with 3.6 million, has been declared a three-day lockdown. During that time, there will be massive testing and vaccination.
The new outbreak in China is linked to at least two clusters. In Nanjing, 9 cleaners at an international airport tested positive on July 20. In Zhangjiajie, there was an outbreak among visitors to a theatre performance. They may have spread the virus across the country when they returned home.
The Chinese government is now looking for people who have recently travelled to one of those two cities. But, at the same time, she calls on the population not to travel to places where new cases have been recently diagnosed.