China imposes severe new curbs on 23 million people after the outbreak of Covid

China has imposed the most extensive restrictions since the launch of the coronavirus pandemic last year, imposing travel restrictions on about 23 million people and blocking some areas after a surge in incidents.

Beijing reported that the total number of symptomatic cases in China exceeded 100 on Wednesday. This is the largest outbreak since July last year. 90 of the new infectious diseases occurred in Hebei province, next to Beijing.

Residents of the three cities in the state, Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, and Lanfang, have been unable to leave since Tuesday. More than 10 local governments across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, are also calling on residents to stop everything except essential travel.

On Tuesday, Shijiazhuang began its second mass inspection of Covid-19 for all residents this month. In the first round of the test, 354 positive cases were found among 10 million people.

Authorities want to limit the chances of the virus spreading during the Chinese New Year break next month. Seven-day holidays are typically the world’s largest annual mass migration, with hundreds of millions of city workers returning to state family homes.

The new restrictions were imposed prior to a visit by the World Health Organization team to arrive in China on Thursday to investigate the origin of Covid-19, after a series of delays in visa approval. Beijing was keen to spread the story of the virus outbreak outside China, despite the first outbreak in Wuhan.

Local governments have not shown penalties for those who violate the rules, but state-owned enterprises and government agencies have imposed penalties for employees.

Two employees of Beijing SOE told the Financial Times that salaries would be docked if they left the city. Another said he had to write a self-criticizing note without telling his boss after leaving Beijing.

Several city governments and businesses in southern Guangdong are offering payments to encourage residents to stay.

The Foshan city government said it would spend RMB 1 million ($ 155,000) on subsidies to those who were late, despite having families outside the town.

Holidays are especially important in China. Due to the prevalence of rural workers and young professionals living in the city, this is the only annual opportunity to visit parents and children.

Some suburban workers are resentful of the directive to stay, saying they are exposing disparities in Chinese society. Staying in the city during the holidays benefits those who have bought a home and obtained a coveted city household registration. Family register..

“Our managers say they will stay in Shenzhen for the New Year, but in reality many managers already have families here. They will stay here regardless,” said a Shenzhen teacher. One Suki Lin said.

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“What really affects me is a’Shenzhen floater’like us, who rents an apartment and has his family back home,” Lin added.

Private sectors generally do not enforce such severe penalties, and some civil servants have also complained of unequal treatment.

“What impact can these controls have? Shenzhen is still a city dominated by private companies, which in most cases do not restrict employee evacuation. We. Is just a small group, “said Danny, a Shenzhen civil servant who doesn’t want to give her full name.

Additional report by Qianer Liu in Shenzhen

China imposes severe new curbs on 23 million people after the outbreak of Covid

Source link China imposes severe new curbs on 23 million people after the outbreak of Covid

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