China sees the return of Covid-19 and the new strain…


600 workers build a quarantine camp for 4,000 people.


A quarantine center under construction in Shijiazhuang, China.Yang Shiyao/Xinhua, via Associated Press
By Jonathan Wolfe and Amelia Nierenberg
Inside China’s outbreak
China is experiencing its worst surge of the virus since the summer, forcing 28 million people into lockdown and challenging the government’s success in subduing the disease.
The country’s National Health Commission said that 144 new cases had been recorded yesterday along with one death — the county’s first since May. Across China, more than 1,000 people are being treated for Covid-19.
The flare-up is mostly in Hebei, a northern province surrounding Beijing. The region’s capital, Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million people, is scrambling to build an 82-acre quarantine center.
Our colleague Keith Bradsher, the Times’s Shanghai bureau chief, told us that the Chinese authorities “are very concerned about stamping this out, because they have taken a zero-tolerance approach in which they have tested as many as two million people a day in a city if there are even a handful of cases discovered.”
Keith said that for the past few months many people in China had been living as though the virus was a distant threat. They’ve been pulling off their masks, particularly outdoors, and restaurants, bars and theaters have hummed with activity. “Almost all people in China were able to go about their daily lives in the second half of last year as though practically nothing had happened,” he said.
But things have started to change, even for people who live outside the areas in lockdown. In Shanghai, Keith said, office buildings and apartment compounds are, once again, checking smartphone location tracking codes, to ensure that individuals haven’t traveled to hot spots. If someone has traveled to a risky area, that person must immediately report to the authorities and enter a home- or government-supervised quarantine.
“Mandatory immediate quarantine by the government, in total isolation, of every symptomatic or asymptomatic person, plus all of their close contacts” has been China’s secret to containing the coronavirus, Keith said. “In some cases, they identify 800 close contacts per person, so their definition of a close contact is not very close at all.”
With the U.S. and Europe in the throes of another brutal surge, there has been a great deal of nationalistic sentiment in China, promoting the country’s approach to the virus. “There are definite worries about the latest outbreaks,” Keith said. “But I have found a quiet confidence among many people that China has beaten this problem before and can do so again.”



  • Death reported in Hebei province today, where several cities are in lockdown
  • China also reported its biggest daily jump in Covid-19 cases in around 10 months
  • National Health Commission said 138 infections noted, up from 115 a day earlier 


PUBLISHED: 01:05 GMT, 14 January 2021 | UPDATED: 02:03 GMT, 14 January 2021

China today reported its first coronavirus death since May – as the country suffered its biggest daily jump in infections in more than 10 months.  

The latest death, the first in eight months, took place in the Hebei province on Thursday but no further details were given by the National Health Commission.

China has been battling to contain a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, while World Health Organiaation experts prepared to fly to Wuhan to investigate the origins of the pandemic. 

The nation’s biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases since March 5 was reported on Thursday, with 138 infections noted compared to 115 cases a day earlier.

Infections in the northeastern Heilongjiang province have nearly tripled, underscoring a growing threat ahead of the Lunar New Year on February 12.


Published JANUARY 14, 2021
Updated JANUARY 14, 2021

SHANGHAI/BEIJING — China reported its biggest daily jump in new Covid-19 cases in more than 10 months as infections in northeastern Heilongjiang province nearly tripled, underscoring the growing threat ahead of a major national holiday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that 138 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Wednesday (Jan 13) up from 115 cases a day earlier and marking the highest jump since March 5. 

China also reported one new death, marking the first increase in the death toll since mid-May.

The commission said 124 of the new cases were local infections, 81 of which were reported in Hebei province surrounding Beijing and 43 in northeastern Heilongjiang province.

Though the daily increases in Covid-19 cases in recent days remain a small fraction of what the country saw at the height of the pandemic in early 2020, China put more than 28 million people under home quarantine in January as part of an aggressive package of measures designed to curb the spread of the disease.

The new wave of infections comes ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of people typically travel to their home towns.Covid-19’s resurgence has already prompted some provinces to discourage travel, which could lead to reduced travel and dampen consumption during the long break.





China locks down Shijiazhuang city in Hebei province

11 million locked down in China’s Hebei province to prevent spread of new coronavirus outbreak

The lockdown is like preparing “for a protracted war,” said Shi Mo, a graduate student in the city of Shijiazhuang.

Jan. 10, 2021, 12:56 AM +08By Dawn Liu and Adela Suliman

BEIJING — It took just 39 new coronavirus cases for health authorities in China to put almost 11 million people into lockdown in the city of Shijiazhuang.

Health officials took no chances on Wednesday, sealing off the capital of the industrial Hebei province and ordering a mass testing drive.

Travel restrictions were put in place in the remainder of the region, which encircles China’s capital Beijing and is home to some 76 million people.


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