BEIJING (CHINA) – As new infections raised worries about a second COVID wave in China, authorities have imposed new curbs in areas near Beijing on Tuesday. The move has put 4.9 million people in Langfang city under lockdown. Authorities are resorting to implementing strict curbs whenever new cases emerge.
Langfang, southeast of Beijing, said its 4.9 million residents would be put under home quarantine for seven days and would be subject to mass COVID-19 testing.
The National Health Commission reported 55 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, down from 103 a day earlier. Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, accounted for 40 of the 42 locally transmitted infections, with the capital and northeastern Heilongjiang province reporting one local case each.
In a village in the south of Beijing that shares a border with Hebei, residents were stopping vehicles on Tuesday and asking to see health-tracking codes on mobile phones.
“We have to be careful as we’re near Guan, where COVID cases were reported today,” said a volunteer security officer surnamed Wang, referring to a Hebei province county bordering Beijing.
China’s state planning agency said it expected population flows during next month’s Lunar New Year period to be “markedly less” than in normal years, with a bigger share of people choosing cars over other transport. Many provinces have issued notices urging workers to stay put for the festival.
As of Jan. 9, China had administered more than 9 million vaccine doses.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in mainland China stands at 87,591, while the death toll unchanged at 4,634.