Covid-19: China shuts down metropolis of 4.5 million people as Delta variant spreads again
By Sanjay Maurya
- Within a week of finding a dozen coronavirus infections, China shut down a metropolis of 4.5 million people in the southeastern province of Fujian.
- The latest epidemic, which has yet to spread beyond Fujian province, has so far resulted in 103 cases in three locations.
- All kindergartens, primary schools, and middle schools in Xiamen will be closed starting Tuesday.
Within a week of finding a dozen coronavirus infections, China shut down a metropolis of 4.5 million people in the southeastern province of Fujian, in an attempt to halt a delta outbreak and maintain its strong zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19.
Residents of Xiamen, a gorgeous seaside city and a manufacturing hub for electrical components from corporations such as ABB Ltd. and Schneider Electric SE, were prohibited from leaving except in exceptional circumstances, according to the city’s almanac. At a news conference on Monday night, city officials announced that all residential compounds and villages had been closed and that all leisure venues in the tourist city, including movies, bars, gyms, and libraries, had closed their doors.
The latest epidemic, which has yet to spread beyond Fujian province, has so far resulted in 103 cases in three locations. Routine testing revealed the first symptoms in two youngsters from nearby schools. Their father, who returned from a trip abroad in early August, was also afflicted and is thought to be the source.
The outbreak arrives less than a month after China struggled with the virus’s largest outbreak since it first debuted in Wuhan. Local authorities’ quick actions reflect the challenge in containing the more permeable delta version, as well as the steps China must take to keep its COVID zero position.
The latest outbreak, according to experts from the national health team, poses a “spillover risk.” Officials said Putian, the city at the center of the current outbreak, is in a “difficult and complicated” situation, with more cases likely to be discovered in residential compounds, institutions, and workplaces. According to local media accounts, 30,000 people have fled Putian for neighboring provinces since late August, however, no outside cases have been discovered.
All kindergartens, primary schools, and middle schools in Xiamen will be closed starting Tuesday, and children will be required to attend classes online. To reduce the risk of transmission, the city’s long-distance bus station halted all routes to other provinces. According to deputy mayor Liao Huasheng, mass testing has begun in some districts of Xiamen, and local authorities want to roll out citywide testing.
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