China sees biggest COVID-19 spike in over five months

13 Janvier, 2021, 16:28 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Shijiazhuang, China's new hotspot of COVID-19 surge

On Wednesday, the government of northeasten Heilongjiang - with a population of 37.5 million people - declared an "emergency state", telling residents not to leave the province unless absolutely necessary, and to cancel conferences and gatherings.

But Hebei province in northern China has reported 560 new cases in recent weeks - 234 of which are asymptomatic - sparking a raft of new lockdowns and restrictions. However, authorities are implementing strict curbs whenever new cases emerge.

The National Health Commission said on Wednesday that a total of 115 new confirmed cases were reported in the Chinese mainland compared with 55 a day earlier.

Officials will now rush to test all 4.9 million residents in two days, the local health bureau said, after one case was discovered in Langfang's Gu'an county.

In a village in the south of Beijing that shares a border with Hebei, residents were stopping vehicles on Tuesday and asking to see health-tracking codes on mobile phones. Hebei, the province that surrounds Beijing, accounted for 90 of the cases, while northeastern Heilongjiang province reported 16 new cases.

At a Beijing highway checkpoint near the border with Hebei, police officers in protective gowns ordered a auto entering Beijing to return to Hebei after the driver was unable to show proof that he had passed a COVID-19 test. Many provinces have urged migrant workers to stay put for the festival.

Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital, has been hardest hit in the latest surge and has already placed its 11 million people under lockdown. The province has shut sections of highway and is ordering vehicles to turn back.

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Shijiazhuang will begin a second round of nucleic acid testing Wednesday, which is scheduled to finish in two days.

As of January 9, China had administered more than 9 million vaccine doses.

Across China, the number of new asymptomatic cases rose to 81 from 76 the previous day.

China has posted its biggest daily jump in COVID cases in more than five months, stepping up containment measures that have seen four cities put under lockdown.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the mainland reached 87,706 by Tuesday, including 784 patients still receiving treatment, 21 of whom were in severe condition.

Shanxi province has also limited internal travel and rolled out mass testing, after a patient from neighbouring Hebei province was reported to have travelled there.

Wangkui county, under the jurisdiction of Suihua city in Heilongjiang province, reported eight new asymptomatic cases and moved on Monday to close all non-essential businesses, banned people from leaving the city and blocked all non-essential traffic, state television reported on Monday.

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