China has closed all rural areas in a district in its capital, Beijing, in an attempt to tackle the worst coronavirus crisis in six months.
All villages in northeast Beijing's Shunyi District, home to over 1.2 million people, have been isolated while officials are conducting mass tests for the virus, the local government announced today.
Meanwhile, Wangkui, a county of 440,000 people in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, was locked down today after 20 asymptomatic cases were reported – people who were infected with the virus but haven't shown symptoms.
China is preparing for the country's largest COVID-19 outbreak in six months after reporting the highest daily coronavirus cases since July last year.
China has cordoned off the rural areas of a district in its capital, Beijing, and a northern Chinese city in an attempt to tackle the worst coronavirus crisis in six months. In this photo, Beijing residents line up on January 11 to be tested for the coronavirus after a new cluster emerged in Hebei
On Monday, Beijing City, where more than 30 people fell ill in an outbreak in Shunyi, reported one new confirmed infection and four asymptomatic patients. Beijing residents are waiting to be tested for the virus on Monday
Since last week, China has cordoned off two cities south of Beijing, cut transport links and banned millions of residents from leaving in an attempt to contain the recent crisis.
It came after a surge of cases was found in Shijiazhuang, a multi-million dollar city in Hebei Province, the surrounding area bringing the total population to 11 million.
Infections have also been found in the neighboring city of Xingtai, which has an area of 7 million people.
On Monday, Beijing City, where more than 30 people fell ill in an outbreak in Shunyi, reported one new confirmed infection and four asymptomatic patients.
All villages in Shunyi have been cordoned off with only one entrance, said Zhi Xianwei, the deputy district chief of Shunyi, at a conference today.
Nationwide coronavirus screening will be conducted while residents are banned from leaving their homes until they receive their test results and are confirmed to be virus-free.
Couriers and food stalls must be left in a designated location outside of the villages for disinfection before being delivered to residents by local community workers.
Heilongjiang City, Wangkui, was also closed today without cars being allowed to leave the area.
The outbreak was concentrated in the Hebei cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai and is one of the most serious in China in recent months. A resident scans a volunteer's QR code before walking through the gate of a residential complex in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province on Saturday
The Chinese province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, has become a new virus hotspot
All roads except the emergency lanes in Wangkui County have been closed while workers are housed at checkpoints around the clock. Public transport has also completely ceased operations.
Residents are forbidden to leave the city unless it is an "emergency". You must also provide negative test results that were generated within three days.
The draconian measures came after the city of 440,000 people registered 20 asymptomatic COVID-19 infections today, after discovering its first case on Saturday.
The news comes when China confirmed its first death a year ago from an unknown virus found in the now infamous Wuhan wet market. 12 months later, the coronavirus claimed 1.9 million lives in a relentless march around the world.
In recent months, China appeared to have largely contained the health crisis as citizens gradually returned to their normal lives. Last week, a new outbreak broke out in Hebei province around Beijing.
The outbreak was concentrated in the Hebei cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai and is one of the most serious in China in recent months. In June, a group of infections was discovered in Xinfadi, a giant fish market in Beijing, which sparked a local outbreak that infected hundreds.
China is fighting a new wave of cases as authorities have urged citizens not to travel, closed schools a week early and conducted large-scale testing to curb further spread during the New Year holidays next month. Residents will be tested for the coronavirus on January 7 in Heihe, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province
Six months later, China is battling a new wave of cases as authorities have urged citizens not to travel, closed schools a week early, and conducted large-scale tests to curb further spread during the New Year holidays next month.
The National Health Commission announced Monday that another 82 people in Hebei tested positive and showed symptoms. Across the country, another 76 people had tested positive without showing symptoms.
Hebei has recorded 265 confirmed cases and at least 203 asymptomatic cases in the past eight days. China does not include those who test positive but show no symptoms in its official sample size.
As of Monday, China has registered a total of 87,536 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths. Hospitals treated 673 people with COVID-19 while 506 people were in isolation and under observation after testing positive with no symptoms.