On Thursday (today), Chinese authorities closed hundreds of flights, shuttered schools, and increased mass testing to combat a fresh COVID-19 epidemic connected to a group of visitors. Even as other nations cautiously lift restrictions, Beijing has maintained a persistent zero-Covid strategy, with tight border closures and targeted lockdowns.
Domestic outbreaks have largely been eradicated, but when China recorded a sixth consecutive day of new cases, primarily in the north and northwest, officials tightened coronavirus controls. The most recent incident was connected to an elderly couple who were among a group of visitors. They began in Shanghai and flew to Xi'an, Gansu Province, and Inner Mongolia. Since then, dozens of cases have been connected to their trip, with tight links in at least five provinces and regions, including the capital Beijing.
Local governments have responded by conducting mass testing, closing scenic and tourist attractions, schools, and entertainment venues in impacted regions, as well as imposing targeted lockdowns of housing compounds. Some places, like Lanzhou, a four-million-person metropolis in northern China, have advised citizens not to leave unless it is absolutely essential. Those who need to depart must have a COVID-19 test that is negative. Hundreds of flights have been canceled at airports in the impacted areas, according to data from aviation tracker VariFlight. Approximately 60% of flights to and from the two main airports in Xi'an and Lanzhou have been canceled.
In a notification issued Monday, the city of Erenhot in Inner Mongolia said that all movement into and out of the city was prohibited and that inhabitants should not leave their housing compounds. On Wednesday, the state-owned newspaper Global Times warned that the new viral cases in Inner Mongolia were likely to impede Mongolian coal imports due to supply chain problems.
The world as we know it may never be the same with new viruses breaking out every time when it seem like we are out of the woods. Chances are the viruses will keep on coming until humanity becomes endangered species, all we can do is hope and pray that we come out victorious in this battle that seem like is never ending.
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