Wuhan will test all residents after the city where the coronavirus emerged sees its first infections in more than a year
- Millions of Chinese already have brutal new lockdown orders
- After an outbreak of Indian variant, arrives at airport in Nanjing, spread across the country
- Wuhan, which spawned the virus, registered the first local infections in more than a year
- Communist Party that boasted of its zero-Covid approach is now scrambling
Authorities in Wuhan today announced they will test the entire city for Covid-19 after the first local infections were discovered in more than a year.
The city of 11 million is “quickly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing for all residents,” official Li Tao said at a news conference on Tuesday after cases emerged among migrant workers.
Millions of Chinese have already received brutal new lockdown orders following an outbreak of the Indian variant linked to airport workers in Nanjing across the country.
Beijing has cut transport links, imposed mass tests and locked people in their homes as it tries to stick to its zero-covid strategy.
The Communist Party had boasted of its success in eradicating the virus from much of the country, but new cases in Wuhan — where the virus first emerged — have terrified the population.
Supermarkets in Wuhan were overcrowded on Monday as people stocked up on groceries and household supplies waiting to be locked again
China has registered more than 400 domestic cases since mid-July, when a cluster of airport cleaners in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, caused infections in more than 20 cities in more than a dozen provinces
China has been hit by what state media is calling the “most extensive Covid outbreak since Wuhan” after cases of the Delta variant escaped border quarantine in Yunnan and an outbreak broke out at an airport in Nanjing
Supermarkets in the city were packed on Monday as people stocked up on groceries and household supplies waiting to be locked again.
China has registered more than 400 domestic cases since mid-July, when a cluster of airport cleaners in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, caused infections in more than 20 cities in more than a dozen provinces.
Wuhan city chiefs announced on Monday that seven locally transmitted infections had been found among migrant workers in the city, breaking a year-long streak of no domestic cases after Wuhan crushed an initial outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown in early 2020.
And the holiday destination of Zhangjiajie in central China’s Hunan province abruptly announced on Tuesday that no one would be allowed to leave the city, after closing tourist attractions and encouraging visitors to leave last week.
“All residents, tourists and other personnel are prohibited from leaving Zhangjiajie,” said a brief statement published in Zhangjiajie Daily, the spokesperson for the city’s Communist Party.
Major cities, including the capital Beijing, have now tested millions of residents as they shut down residential complexes and quarantine close contacts.
China reported 61 domestic cases on Tuesday.
The eastern city of Yangzhou, near Nanjing, was the last local government to order residents to stay at home after large-scale tests discovered 40 new infections in the past day.
The more than 1.3 million residents of Yangzhou’s urban core are now confined to their homes, with each household only allowed to send out one person per day to buy groceries for the necessities, the city government said Tuesday.
The announcement comes after the city of Zhuzhou, near Zhangjiajie, issued similar orders to more than two million people together in recent days.
The outbreak spread from Nanjing to Hunan last month after people in the airport cluster attended theater performances in Zhangjiajie.
Officials have since been desperate for thousands of fellow theatergoers and urge tourists not to travel to areas where cases have been found.
Wuhan residents were seen cleaning up the city’s supermarket shelves on Monday
People wearing face masks queue up at a crowded supermarket in Wuhan on Monday
Meanwhile, Beijing has barred tourists from entering the capital during the peak summer holiday season and has asked residents not to leave unless necessary, with top officials swearing over the weekend to “spare no expense” in defending the city.
Photos from Wuhan on Monday showed supermarket shelves looted by shoppers apparently stocking up to re-lock, in scenes reminiscent of the panic buying before the city was shut down from the rest of the city for 76 days last year. world in the first Lockdown.
Officials took to social media on Tuesday to “calm the panicky mood of city residents” and announced that stores had promised to keep prices and supply chains stable.
Mao, a 27-year-old resident of Wuhan, told AFP he was “not worried” about the new outbreak because “Wuhan has gained a rich experience,” including widespread vaccination.
“I’m not at all worried about the city closing again,” he said, saying only his last name.