Prior to a series of major national holidays, once hundreds of millions of people have been expected to travel across the country, Chinese authorities are scrambling to contain a rapidly spreading Delta variant outbreak inside the southern province of Fujian. The highly infectious variant is expected to spread far and wide during this period of high travel activity.
China Is Rushing To Control A Delta Epidemic That Has Been Focused On Schools Before Of The Key Holiday Season.
According to local reports, the epidemic, which has been termed “China’s first education flare-up” by state media, was initially discovered Friday at a primary school in the city of Putian. Since then, it has spread across the province, infecting more than 100 individuals in three cities in the process.
As of Monday, the NHC has recorded 59 cases in Fujian, including 24 cases in Putian and 32 cases in Xiamen, a large seaside city that is popular among visitors. On Tuesday, the two cities began offering free Covid testing to all of their citizens. Putian has a population of about 3 million people, whereas Xiamen has a population of over 5 million.
Residents of both cities have been warned not to leave the city for non-essential travel. Those who have genuine grounds to depart must provide a negative coronavirus test that was done within the last 48 hours to demonstrate their eligibility. Long-distance buses leaving from both locations have also been halted for the time being.
In Xiamen, targeted lockdowns were implemented in residential areas impacted by the epidemic on Tuesday, with people barred from leaving their homes or compound. It also closed libraries, museums, restaurants, theatres, and gyms, prohibited large-scale gatherings, and canceled activities marking the Mid-Autumn Festival, which starts on Sunday and will last three days. Similar limitations have also been enforced in the Chinese province of Putian. There have been a total of 85 illnesses recorded in the city, with 30 of them occurring in children under the age of ten, the local administration said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Officials in the county of Xianyou have quarantined more than 3,000 people who were direct or indirect contacts of infected cases, including significant numbers of schoolchildren who have been removed from their parents, as per Wu Haiduan, the county government’s chief executive. According to official broadcaster CCTV, an expert team sent by the National Health Commission to Fujian described the epidemic as “serious and complex,” but predicted that it could be contained by the National Day break next month provided containment measures were executed properly. Beginning on October 1, the week-long holiday known as “Golden Week” is anticipated to be one of the busiest travel periods in China, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to swarm the country’s roads, trains, and aircraft during the week-long celebration.
An estimated 637 million domestic travels were made over the National Day vacation last year, which was the first big holiday since China was free of the first coronavirus epidemic in the country. It generated 455 billion yuan in tourist income, providing a much-needed boost to the state’s financial recovery that had been long overdue.