China (October-November 2021): The latest Covid-19 outbreak may take longer to contain





Almost 34,000 revellers locked inside Shanghai Disneyland and tested for COVID-19 after virus scare

The gates to Shanghai Disneyland were locked on the eve of Halloween until every single one of the 33,863 people inside were tested for COVID-19 after a positive case travelled to the city.

Jack Mahony Digital Reporter
November 2, 2021 – 11:20AM

Thousands of visitors to Shanghai Disneyland were locked inside the theme park on the eve of Halloween after a positive COVID-19 case visited the city.

The gates were shut on Sunday – with police guarding the exits – as health workers in Hazmat suits rushed into the park to test every single one of the 33,863 attendees inside.

The sudden call to test the thousands of parkgoers was made after a woman who tested positive for the virus travelled from Hangzhou to Shanghai, although it is unclear if the case visited Disneyland.

Visitors were locked inside the park until almost midnight – well after Disneyland usually closes – before they were taken home on 220 special buses.

On Monday everyone that was tested at Disneyland returned a negative test result but they will still be required to self-isolate at home for two days before being tested again in two weeks.

The closure was announced in a statement from Shanghai Disneyland at 9:05pm on Sunday.

“To cooperate with the pandemic investigation in other provinces and cities, we have temporarily suspended entry into Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown, and some attractions inside the park will also temporarily stop operating,” the statement on Weibo read.

“Guests will be required to undergo nucleic acid testing at the exit when leaving the resort, and follow Centre for Disease Control guidance – Guests will also be required to undergo another nucleic acid test after 24 hours.”



By Christian ShepherdYesterday at 4:02 a.m. EDT

With tourists stranded at vacation spots, major cities under lockdown and whole train-loads of passengers placed in quarantine, Chinese authorities have enlisted vast swaths of the population to track down and smother the country’s third outbreak of the delta variant this year.

On Friday, the National Health Commission reported 48 symptomatic coronavirus infections from local spread, bringing the number of confirmed cases from the latest outbreak to more than 300 people across 14 provinces.

In many countries, those kinds of numbers would be untroubling or even a cause for celebration. But not in China, which remains steadfastly committed to eliminating the virus while most of the world shifts toward mitigation.

The arrival of the more transmissible delta variant in China this year only served to strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s confidence in its “zero covid” approach and pride in its ability to mobilize the masses to stamp out outbreaks.

Now, authorities have once again launched something akin to a nationwide manhunt to restrain the virus by tracking down the transmission chain and quarantining anyone with exposure — no matter how fleeting and irrespective of whether they had been vaccinated.

On Thursday, authorities halted two high-speed trains traveling to Beijing because of a single passenger on each who was deemed a close contact of a confirmed case. Despite no one on board being confirmed as a carrier, all of the nearly 350 passengers were put in centralized quarantine.

Although the Chinese authorities have largely been successful in securing public buy-in for the elimination approach, it is not always popular in places where lockdowns have repeatedly disrupted daily life, such as Ruili, a border town in southwestern Yunnan that has endured five lockdowns this year.

Some of the strictest measures have been implemented in Beijing, which is preparing to host a meeting of top Chinese Communist Party leaders as well as the Winter Olympics in February. In areas of the capital deemed to be at risk, public transportation has been curtailed and tourism halted.


Hundreds of flights cancelled as China tackles Covid-19 surges

Flare-ups in dozen regions linked to tourists

Updated 6 hours ago · Published on 29 Oct 2021 10:30PM

BEIJING – Airports here cancelled hundreds of flights today as travel rules were tightened across China to tackle virus clusters as the capital gears up to host the Winter Olympics.

The world’s most populous nation has reduced infection numbers to a trickle since its initial epidemic last spring, thanks to a zero-tolerance approach of border closures, targeted lockdowns and long quarantine periods.

But China is now grappling with flare-ups in a dozen regions linked to tourists, spurring officials to order millions to stay home, restrict inter-provincial travel and ramp up testing.

Case numbers remain far lower than in most countries, with 48 new domestic infections today, bringing the tally to less than 250 in the past week.

But authorities are not taking any chances, with tens of thousands of people here – which will host the Winter Olympics in February – under lockdown after a handful of cases were detected.

Today, queues stretched down the roads outside medical centres in the capital as people sought to comply with newly enhanced Covid controls. 

Yesterday, rail authorities ordered two Beijing-bound high-speed trains to stop and sent over 450 passengers to be tested after staff members were identified as close contacts of infected people.

Fearful of outbreaks elsewhere, a number of other cities have also strengthened Covid rules.

Authorities in Harbin – the capital of the northeastern Heilongjiang province – warned 10 million residents against outbound travel and grounded a third of flights at the city’s airport.

About six million people are under lockdown across China including around four million in the northwestern city of Lanzhou and the Inner Mongolian county of Ejin, where around 35,000 people live.

Booster vaccine shots have been made mandatory for key workers here, state broadcaster CCTV said today. – AFP, October 29, 2021










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