BEIJING (CHINA) – In the latest move, China has escalated measures to curb yet another coronavirus wave. As part of the restrictions authorities on Wednesday imposed travel restrictions and banned gatherings in the capital city of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing.
The province, which entered a “wartime mode” on Tuesday, had recorded 20 of the 23 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases on Jan. 5, more than the total of 19 cases in the province in the three previous days.
Hebei also accounted for 43 of 64 new asymptomatic cases – patients who have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus but not yet showing symptoms of COVID-19.
IAccording to the new measures travellers will have to present a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours before boarding a train or an airplane, according to a statement by the Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport on Wednesday.
The city has also launched a mass testing drive apart from shutting its main long-range bus terminal, banned gatherings and ordered residential compounds to keep out non-residents. Moreover, parcel services in Shijiazhuang region has been suspended for three days.
Authorities in Dalian, in Liaoning province where new local COVID-19 infections have been reported in recent days, also barred residents of areas designated as medium or high-risk areas for the disease from leaving the city. Residents who do not live in such areas were told to refrain from unnecessary trips out of Dalian.
Provincial and city governments frequently implement a combination of measures including mass testing, closing schools and restricting travel for those in areas with a cluster of new COVID-19 patients. Chinese customs officials also conduct routine inspections of imported goods to check for traces of the coronavirus.
China continues to take aggressive measures to prevent another wave of the disease that has killed 4,634 people in China and nearly 1.9 million globally.