Largest Corona virus outbreak in China in months

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China is experiencing the largest outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in months. After the most populous country had the virus largely under control since the summer, with only very sporadic infections, the numbers in Hebei province just outside Beijing have risen to a total of more than 200 in just a few days.

To date, the health commission in the province around the capital reported 90 cases and 144 asymptomatic infections. A further increase was expected.

The authorities are alarmed and declared “a state of war” in the fight against the virus. Transport links by buses, trains and planes to the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, 300 kilometers northeast of Beijing, have been largely disrupted.

The eleven million inhabitants and residents are being tested. Roadblocks were also set up. In Shijiazhuang, some residential areas were sealed off. Classes in kindergartens, elementary and middle schools were suspended. Additional medical personnel have been mobilized.

Concerns about impending wave of travel
In addition to Shijiazhuang, the cities of Xingtai and Nangong, where 500,000 people are being tested, are also affected. The new outbreak raises concerns about the upcoming travel wave ahead of Chinese New Year on February 12. Several hundred million people are normally on the move to their home villages for the Chinese people’s most important family festival. But authorities advised migrant workers not to travel home this time.

More than a year ago, the first cases were discovered in the central Chinese metropolis of Wuhan with the SARS CoV-2 virus, which has since infected 87 million people worldwide. More than 1.8 million have died as a result. After an initially inadequate response to the virus, China’s authorities have taken strong measures since late January 2020, largely bringing the pandemic under control with quarantines, curfews, contact tracing and wide-ranging restrictions on entry. Thus, life in China had returned to normal.

  • Source: orf.at/picture: pixabay.com
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