Monday, December 05, 2022

China quarantines millions of residents due to COVID

BEIJING ( Associated Press) – China has imposed strict quarantines on millions of people amid new outbreaks of COVID-19, officials said on Tuesday, as the government sticks to its steadfast measures to contain the virus. .

The measures affected half of the 6 million people in the port city of Dalian, as well as an unknown number of people in Chengde and Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, about three hours from Beijing.

The quarantine in Dalian was set for five days, but on previous occasions the authorities have extended the shutdown after new cases emerged.

Although Beijing has not been affected much, travel to and from the capital is discouraged, and residents must be tested almost daily.

The measures comply with a “zero COVID” policy, unlike other countries’ norms for coexistence with the virus through gradual relaxation of restrictions, vaccinations, advances in medicine and voluntary isolation.

China has generally kept its borders closed to foreigners. Those who can enter will have to spend more than a week in quarantine in hotels where sanitary conditions are often poor. Masks and tests are mandatory, and anyone who has been in close contact with a sick person is forcibly taken to field hospitals.

The World Health Organization has said China’s policy is unstable, and a research institute published a document on Monday expressing disagreement with the ruling Communist Party. He says the lockdowns that have shut down cities and disrupted commerce, transport and industry should be changed to prevent “economic paralysis”.

The Unbound Research Center did not provide details of the possible changes, but said President Xi Jinping’s government should focus on promoting growth. He said the United States, Japan and Europe are recovering financially by easing sanctions.

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