North China City Locked Down Amid Virus Flare-Up
What’s new: Shijiazhuang, the capital of north China’s Hebei province neighboring Beijing, was locked down after the emergence of dozens of new Covid-19 cases in the country’s worst outbreak in months.
Authorities in Shijiazhuang, home to 11 million, banned all people and vehicles from leaving the city, according to the state-run People’s Daily Thursday. Citywide virus tests has been rolled out, while people in certain areas with higher risks are not allowed to travel around the city, according to the report, citing Deputy Mayor Meng Xianghong.
The Shijiazhuang Railway Station was temporarily closed Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport canceled more than 300 flights.
The background: The tightened lockdown measures followed a surge of new virus cases in Hebei over the past two days. The province recorded 120 new infections Thursday following 117 cases Wednesday. Among the new positive cases reported Thursday, 50 were discovered in Shijiazhuang.
The recent outbreak in Hebei, traced to a case reported Jan. 2, came as several scattered flare-ups were reported across China, from Chengdu in the southwest to the northeastern port city of Dalian. Hebei authorities announced a region-wide “wartime mode” to curb the latest outbreak.
Three local Shijiazhuang officials have been punished for failure to contain the spread of the disease.
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