China’s Henan province imposes more COVID-19 curbs as cases spike

More cities in central China have resorted to severe restrictions as new coronavirus infections in Henan province have risen sharply as authorities take urgent action to contain the clusters ahead of the Olympic Games. winter and peak Lunar New Year travel season.

Although the numbers are tiny compared to many places around the world, and no cases of the highly transmissible variant of omicron have been reported so far in Henan, several cities have placed new limits on them there. travel or economic activities in response to a wave of new cases.

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China’s national policy of quickly eradicating the clusters as soon as they appear has taken on added urgency in the run-up to the Winter Games, hosted by Beijing and neighboring Hebei from February 4, and concerns about the potential for the spread to spread. virus in the coming weeks, when masses of people travel for the Lunar New Year holidays.

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Gushi, a county of Henan with one million people, reported one symptomatic case and one asymptomatic carrier on Wednesday. But that was enough to persuade the local authorities to prevent people from leaving the city and to dissuade others from coming.

The city of Xuchang has asked local authorities to minimize the movement of people as mass tests on its more than 4 million residents were rolled out between Thursday and Friday.

In Yuzhou City, which is part of Xuchang City, 1 million people are already confined, and people in some areas cannot leave their homes. In other areas, each household can only send one person every two days to shop for daily necessities.

Luoyang, a city of 7 million people, has closed various entertainment venues, including cinemas. Shangqiu, with nearly 8 million residents, has suspended in-person classes at all primary and secondary schools.

North China

Although no local infections were reported on Wednesday in Yongji, a town in northern Shanxi province, authorities there ordered all of its 400,000 residents to stay indoors and businesses and schools to shut down operations. Thursday, after samples taken from a train station turnstile tested positive. for the virus.

The northwestern city of Xian, after more than two weeks in lockdown, reported 63 local symptomatic infections for Wednesday, up from 35 a day earlier, but still well below the daily number of cases seen over the course of of the last week of December.

All international flights to Xian Xianyang International Airport were halted from Wednesday, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday. Domestic flights were suspended earlier.

On Wednesday, the eastern province of Zhejiang detected five local symptomatic cases.

Mainland China had 103,121 confirmed symptomatic cases as of Jan. 5, including local and imported cases, with a death toll of 4,636.

Read more: China to test 13 million people in Zhengzhou as COVID-19 outbreak in Xi’an eases

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