Beijing: Hundreds of flights were reportedly cancelled, schools closed and mass testing ramped up in China on Thursday as authorities struggle to fight a new Covid-19 outbreak linked to a group of tourists, reported news agency AFP. Beijing has maintained a relentless zero-Covid approach with strict border closures and targeted lockdowns, even as other countries tentatively try to ease restrictions.Also Read - Air Pollution: Kejriwal Govt Extends Ban on Entry of Trucks, Work From Home For Employees Till Nov 26
Domestic outbreaks have largely been eliminated, but as China logged a fifth straight day of new cases — mostly in northern and northwestern areas — authorities beefed up coronavirus controls. The latest outbreak was linked to an elderly couple who were in a group of several tourists. They started in Shanghai before flying to Xi’an, Gansu province and Inner Mongolia. Dozens of cases have since been linked to their travel, with close contacts in at least five provinces and regions, including the capital Beijing. Also Read - Will Delhi Impose Complete Lockdown to Control Air Pollution? Kejriwal Makes Big Announcement | Read Here
In response, local governments have rolled out mass testing and closed scenic spots and tourist sites, schools and entertainment venues in affected areas, and also imposed targeted lockdowns of housing compounds. Also Read - China Covid-19 Update: Beijing Toughens Curbs to Fight New Virus Outbreak. Full Details Here
China Covid Update: Top points to know
- Some regions including Lanzhou — a city of some four million people in northwestern China — have told residents not to leave unless necessary. Those who need to leave must present a negative Covid-19 test.
- Airports in the affected regions have cancelled hundreds of flights, according to data from aviation tracker VariFlight. Around 60 per cent of flights to the two main airports in Xi’an and Lanzhou have been cancelled.
- In a notice published on Monday, Erenhot in Inner Mongolia said travel in and out of the city was banned and residents should not leave their housing compounds.
- And on Wednesday, state-owned tabloid Global Times cautioned that the new virus cases in Inner Mongolia were likely to affect coal imports from Mongolia because of supply chain disruptions.
- There were 13 new domestic cases reported on Thursday, China’s National Health Commission said.
(With inputs from agency)