long lines for tests on the streets of Beijing / afp

BEIJING

Millions of people were once again confined to their homes in China, in an attempt to contain the largest coronavirus outbreak in months, including seven positive cases in Wuhan, where the disease first emerged in late 2019.

China reported 55 new cases of locally transmitted coronavirus yesterday. The fast-spreading Delta variant outbreak has already reached more than 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces.

The outbreak in Wuhan came after the daily release of official data but was confirmed by state media, which said the infections had been traced to a train station.

“All seven were identified as migrant workers,” the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing COVID-19 prevention and control officials.

In large cities, including Beijing, millions of residents were tested, residences cordoned off and close contacts of infected people quarantined.

The capital authorities met and agreed to “increase vigilance, take strict precautions and defend [la ciudad] until death, sparing no expense, “said the Beijing government.

In the city of Zhuzhou (center), located in the province of Hunan, more than 1.2 million people were placed in strict isolation yesterday and for a period of three days, while the authorities carry out a campaign of tests and vaccinations. , indicated an official statement.

“The situation remains grim and complicated,” the Zhuzhou government said.

China had so far managed to reduce local cases to practically zero, allowing the economy to reopen.

But the latest outbreak, linked to an outbreak in Nanjing where nine cleaning workers at an international airport tested positive on July 20, caused more than 360 cases in the past two weeks.

In Zhangjiajie, a tourist destination known for its forest park, an outbreak emerged last month among theatergoers, who then brought the virus home across the country.

Zhangjiajie confined its 1.5 million residents on Friday.

The authorities are urgently searching for people who have recently traveled from Nanjing or Zhangjiajie, and urged tourists not to visit areas where cases were detected.

TOURISM BLOCKED

Meanwhile, Beijing blocked the entry of tourists during the peak summer travel season.

Following the discovery of some cases among residents who had returned from Zhangjiajie, the capital will only allow entry to “essential travelers” with negative tests.

City officials on Sunday called on residents “not to leave Beijing unless necessary.”

Last week, the capital’s Changping district confined 41,000 people New cases were also reported yesterday in the popular tourist destination of Hainan, as well as in the flood-ravaged Henan province, health authorities said. In the autonomous territory of Hong Kong, public employees, teachers and health personnel will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or tested twice a week at their expense. (AFP and EFE)

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