China battles Covid surge, millions under lockdown
Coronavirus update: Millions of people were confined to their homes in China Monday as the country tried to contain its largest Covid 19 outbreak in months with mass testing and travel curbs.
As per the coronavirus update, China reported 55 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases, as an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant reached over 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces.
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Local governments in major cities, including Beijing, have now tested millions of residents for Covid, while cordoning off residential compounds and placing close contacts under quarantine to prevent coronavirus spread.
The central city of Zhuzhou in Hunan province ordered over 1.2 million residents on Monday to stay home under strict lockdown for the next three days as it rolls out a citywide testing and vaccination campaign, according to reports.
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Beijing has previously boasted of its success in bringing domestic cases down to virtually zero after the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, allowing the economy to rebound.
But the latest outbreak, linked to a cluster in Nanjing where nine cleaners at an international airport tested positive on July 20, is threatening that success with more than 360 domestic Covid cases reported in the past two weeks.
Zhangjiajie locked down all 1.5 million residents on Friday. Officials are urgently seeking people who have recently travelled from Nanjing or Zhangjiajie, and have urged tourists not to travel to areas where cases have been found.
Meanwhile, Beijing has blocked tourists from entering the capital during the peak summer holiday travel season.