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With 71 cases in Harbin, China takes lockdown measures again

With 71 cases in Harbin, China takes lockdown measures again

Posted April. 23, 2020 07:34,   

Updated April. 23, 2020 07:34


China has imposed lockdown on Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang province with 10.85 million population to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The city is suffering from an overseas infection that has spread to mass infection of 71 cases in the community.

The municipal government of Harbin announced on Wednesday that it has banned entry to residential zones in the city and urban villages by people and vehicles registered elsewhere. Weddings and funerals are also banned as well as large-scale events such as performances, sports events, forums, and exhibitions.

China had lifted isolation measures by assessing that it succeeded in controlling the virus pandemic. However, as the mass infection caused by an imported case raised concerns on the possibility of a second outbreak, a wary Chinese government has imposed strict measures once again.

The recent cluster case in Harbin started out with a Chinese student studying overseas named Han (female, 22), who returned home from the U.S. via Hong Kong and Beijing. The virus spread to her family and neighbors, some of whom visited two major local hospitals, where the mass infection spread. This caused infections in Fushun of Liaoning and Inner Mongolia, both of which saw one confirmed case each. The municipal government of Harbin is inspecting potential infections of 4,106 people who had been at the hospitals at that time.

Han has reportedly travelled to Shanghai early this month as well. There are concerns that a massive outbreak could take place again in China.

The Chinese foreign ministry advised Wednesday people in China not to travel overseas and those who are outside of the nation not to travel to other countries. This is seen as a measure to prevent cross border movement of Chinese people ahead of the upcoming Labor Day holiday on May 1.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com