COVID-19 in China | Canceled flights and massive screening in Guangzhou after a single case

(Beijing) The major Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou on Thursday canceled hundreds of flights and began screening around six million residents after discovering a single suspected case of COVID-19.

Posted at 6:42am

Almost spared the coronavirus for two years, China has been facing a surge in cases since March, the scale of which is unprecedented since 2020, affecting many provinces to varying degrees.

Locked-in Shanghai is currently the hardest-hit city with dozens of new daily deaths. After a hundred positive cases, the capital Beijing has already closed around 150 buildings in a week.

In line with its zero-COVID-19 strategy, China is responding to this outbreak with lockdowns, travel restrictions and isolating those who have tested positive in quarantine centers.

But the particularly contagious Omicron variant puts this public health policy to the test.

The metropolitan city of Guangzhou, a major manufacturing and trade hub, announced Thursday it would screen around a third of its 19 million people after an “abnormal” result from a COVID-19 test taken at the airport.

Most of the day’s flights were cancelled.

The major city of Hangzhou near Shanghai on Wednesday evening called on nine of its 12 million residents to get tested every 48 hours if they want to continue having access to public spaces and public transport.

An initiative that follows the discovery of dozens of positive cases.

China’s health ministry reported more than 11,000 new positive cases nationwide on Thursday.

The restrictive measures will restrict tourism during the holidays from June 1st to June 1stah-May, which starts this Saturday and is the occasion for Chinese people in general to go on vacation.

They are expected to make around 100 million trips to China in those five days, down 62% from 2021, Zhou Min, a senior official with the Ministry of Transport, told reporters on Thursday.

“I was thinking of going on vacation, but given the epidemic, it’s better to avoid going out, stay at home and find something interesting to do,” Wang Yang, a 34-year-old Beijing native, told AFP .

” Disappointed ? Not too much because it affects the whole country, not just our little man. »

Reflux in Shanghai

In cramped Shanghai, many of the 25 million residents complain of difficulties in accessing food and fear being placed in collective quarantine centers with haphazard hygiene and comfort.

But the lockdown seems to be beginning to bear fruit: the Department of Health has identified 10,622 new positive cases there – the lowest total since early April.

Some residents have been able to take to the streets in the past few days.

50 new positive cases were announced in Beijing on Thursday. This is a stabilization compared to the previous days.

The capital this week launched a screening campaign for nearly all of its 22 million residents. Other buildings were included Thursday but currently represent a very small portion of the population.

However, Beijingers live in fear of general detention.

Exhibitions, shows and wedding ceremonies have been cancelled. Gyms are also closed. But restaurants and shops will remain open.

City Hall urged residents not to leave the capital unless absolutely necessary.

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