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Covid-19: More curbs in central China, Xian suspends international flights

Covid-19: More curbs in central China, Xian suspends international flights

China on Thursday imposed strict curbs on more cities in Henan province which saw a rise in Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours as authorities attempt to contain new infection clusters ahead of the Winter Olympics and the Chinese New Year holidays. The central Chinese province reported 64 new locally transmitted Covid-19 confirmed cases and nine local asymptomatic carriers for Wednesday, the provincial health commission said on Thursday. Gushi, a county in Henan of 1 million residents, reported one symptomatic case and one asymptomatic carrier for Wednesday. “But that was enough to persuade local officials to stop people from leaving town and dissuade others from coming,” a Reuters report said. The 13 million residents of the provincial capital Zhengzhou are undergoing nucleic acid tests. Yuzhou, a city of 1.1 million in the same province, is also under a lockdown. The northwestern city of Xian, already locked down for two weeks, reported 63 local Covid-19 cases for Wednesday, up from 35 a day earlier. More than 42,000 residents of Xian including close contacts continue to be under quarantine. All international flights in Xian’s Xianyang International Airport were halted from Wednesday, the Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday; domestic flights had been suspended earlier. The ongoing outbreak in the city has been linked to a passenger who came on a flight from Pakistan. In a rare admission, state media reports said Xian epidemic prevention policy has come under criticism for being too strict. “We were woken up in the middle of the night by a knock on the door and told to pack up and leave, without further explanation,” an anonymous resident was quoted as saying in Chinese state-run media. Posts about a pregnant woman who lost her baby after waiting outside of a local hospital, bleeding, triggered an outcry on Chinese social media. Two Xian health officials were given warnings for not doing their job well due to the incident. The general manager of the hospital was suspended, with a few other staffers removed from their roles, the reports said. The mainland reported 132 new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in all, the national health commission (NHC) said in its daily report on Thursday. Besides the cases in Henan and Shaanxi, five local infections were reported from the eastern province of Zhejiang. Flights for Beijing from Yiwu, a global hub for small commodities in Zhejiang province, were indefinitely suspended on Thursday. More regions and cities are taking pre-emptive measures ahead of the Games and the Chinese New Year holidays. The central Chinese city of Wuhan where the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in late 2019 announced closer monitoring of people entering the city with those responsible for manning inter-provincial highways being put on alert. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the mainland had reached 103,121 by Wednesday till date with the death toll remaining at 4,636, according to the NHC..

world-news 2022-01-07 hindustantimes