City in China Under Partial Lockdown After COVID-19 Infections Surge

Partial Lockdown In China’s Hebei Province After COVID-19 Infections Rise

63 cases reported, authorities fear superspreader event with undetected community transmissions.

The city of Shijiazhuang in China has gone into partial lockdown after the province reported 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Located in Hebei, approximately 300km from Beijing, the city has entered “war-time mode”. Reports of this spike in infections have heightened anxiety over a new wave of inspections potentially spreading in the country. Chinese authorities fear yet another lockdown in China to curb the worrying rise in COVID-19 cases. 

Also read: Japan Prepares For State Of Emergency in Tokyo After COVID-19 Cases Surge

Fear of COVID-19’s return to China

Out of 63 reported cases, 43 were asymptomatic. A number of these cases attended wedding banquets or celebrations in the city prior to this. Chinese health experts expect the infection rates to climb, sparking fear in Beijing as they continue to fight their own outbreak. 

Dr Jin Dong-yan, a virology professor at the University of Hong Kong, stated how “worrying” it is with the virus spreading unnoticed for a while. Mass gatherings and weddings in China have resumed as in pre-COVID times. As such, undetected cases could erupt into superspreader events if left unnoticed. 

covid-19 lockdown China

Longer quarantine periods  

City officials on Tuesday announced that international travellers arriving in Beijing must quarantine for 21 days. This is an additional seven days from the original 14-day quarantine period. 

covid-19 lockdown China

The first 14 days must be served in a government-designated facility, while the remaining seven days can be completed at home with approval from local authorities. 

Measures in place as Chinese New Year holiday approaches 

Inter-city buses, along with inbound and outbound flights to Shijiazhuang have been cancelled. Sales of train tickets to Beijing was also suspended on Wednesday. Ten highways connecting Shijiazhuang and Beijing imposed traffic restrictions, where traffic police urged vehicles to return where they came from. 

Beijing is aiming to vaccinate 50 million people before the Chinese New Year holiday in February. Approximately hundreds of millions of people travel across the country during this period each year. However, travel plans have been disrupted due to the coronavirus outbreak since 2020. 

With more than three million people receiving vaccinations since 15 Dec 2020, let’s hope these sporadic outbreaks will not be the beginning of yet another lockdown in China. It certainly wouldn’t be the best way to usher in the Lunar New Year! 

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Sarah Jane Lee
Sarah Jane Lee

Sarah strongly believes that much like sunflowers, she draws her energy from basking in the sunshine. She believes that detours, chance encounters and stories shared by strangers at a bus stop are part of what makes adventure beautiful. Apart from being a sports enthusiast (current fix: Muay Thai), Sarah enjoys soaking up the afternoon sun with a book in hand.


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