Saturday, January 29, 2022

Anti-coronavirus measures tightened across China Nation World News

BEIJING ( Associated Press) – China further tightened its anti-epidemic measures in Beijing and across the country on Friday as the outbreak continued to splatter more than two weeks ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics.

The action reflects panic about a possible surge in cases ahead of the Beijing Games.

Beijing has ordered testing of children in international schools from next week and is barring air travelers who pass through the third point. Citizens are being told to travel only if necessary, without any guarantee they will be allowed to return if they have visited a city or area where the outbreak has occurred.

The city of Tianjin, about an hour from the capital, has ordered the third phase of mass testing to be completed within 24 hours, beginning Saturday morning.

A port and manufacturing hub with 14 million people, Tianjin is one of half a dozen cities where the government is imposing lockdowns and other restrictions as part of a policy to track every virus case.

It’s proximity to Beijing is particularly worrisome and authorities have cut all travel links between it and the Olympic host city in recent days after 126 cases were discovered, all apparently of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

Elsewhere, more than 20 million people are in lockdown, Many are confined to their homes amid concerns over the supply of food and other daily necessities. Factories have been shut, affecting the supply of computer chips and other products.

Automaker Volkswagen AG said on Monday it closed two factories in Tianjin and workers were tested twice.

In the northern city of Xi’an, where a lockdown was imposed on 14 million people on 23 December, residents have been told that their credit scores will not be affected if they are unable to make timely loan payments while in quarantine.

Even the city of Zhuhai in the far south has suspended flights to Beijing and bus service with the Guangdong provincial capital, Guangzhou.

Zhuhai has ordered tests across the city and barred residents from leaving without good reason and a negative COVID-19 test, despite the National Health Commission reporting no cases of local transmission in the city, which Macau’s gambling is located across the border from Mecca.

China has also banned dozens of foreign flights from Europe, Canada, the US, Indonesia and elsewhere after passengers tested positive for the virus on arrival.

Shanghai’s financial hub, which has reported relatively few cases, has also suspended some travel links.

China has repeatedly imposed such sweeping restrictions on movement since the beginning of 2020, shortly after the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan.

Along with mass testing and digital surveillance of people’s movements, the measures have so far kept the virus from spreading into a full-fledged national outbreak. The country’s vaccination rate is also now above 85%.

Other countries have tried a similar zero-tolerance approach, minimizing its worst effects, rather than trying to live with the virus that has given up.


Nation World News Desk
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