11 million are locked up in China in the Shijiazhuang city after 100 new coronavirus cases. Residents are forbidden from leaving the area and schools have also been closed down. More than 5,000 test sites have also been set up so that every citizen can be tested. The latest estimates are the best that China has had in upwards of five months. The country was able to handle such diseases by taking stern immediate action. This included the frequent use of mass testing as new clusters of cases occur, even though they seem relatively small.
Hebei Province, where Shijiazhuang is situated, registered 120 new cases on Thursday, with all but one of these infections occurring in the area. 22 new cases have been found elsewhere in the world. The virus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 before a global pandemic broke out. Thursday’s lockdown is only weeks ahead of the Chinese New Year, a time when people in China are traveling in massive numbers to spend their holidays with their families.
However, citizens of the Shijiazhuang district of Gaocheng, considered to be the epicenter of the epidemic, are not permitted to leave their local area. Other citizens are forbidden from leaving the area. As far as transport is concerned, bus travel has been suspended and several flights have been postponed.
As an indication of how severe the officials see the problem, the postal service in and out of Shijiazhuang has been suspended for three days. And the controls are being strictly enforced-the police were pictured in protective hazmat suits protecting the entrances to the expressway.
“Villages should recognize, notify, isolate and treat cases as soon as possible, to cut off the spread,” said Wu Hao, a national health official.
So far, Shijazhuang’s 5 hospitals are given the authorization for the coronavirus cases, and 3 of them are on standby, according to the city’s mayor.
This isn’t the first time that China has sealed up a city in reaction to an outbreak of cases since the Wuhan epidemic. In October, all nine million citizens of Qingdao, China, were screened in five days after a dozen cases were reported. Cases were related to hospital care for coronavirus patients coming from abroad. The same month, the officials in Kashgar, Xinjiang, checked around 4.7m people after the outbreak.