22 new locally-sourced cases of Covid-19 detected in the past 24 hours in Beijing, the capital of China, have raised concerns about the possibility of a spread that will require lockdown measures.
Pang Shinhuo, deputy director of the Beijing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a statement that locally-sourced cases had been spreading undetected for a week.
Stating that mass testing will be carried out on elderly citizens in travel groups, construction workers and the school where the cases were seen, Pang said, “The hidden spread has been going on for a week and the infected people come from of different segments of society and areas of activity. mentioned.
The new cases were noted to be associated with groups of travelers, students and a courier, affecting Chaoyang in the east of the city, Shunyi in the northeast and Fangshan in the southwest.
“EMERGENCY AND GREAT SITUATION”
There are growing fears that the metropolis, with a population of more than 21 million, could spread, necessitating a Shanghai-style shutdown.
According to the state-run Beijing News, Beijing Communist Party Secretary Cai Qi, Mayor Chin Cining and other city officials discussed the control measures at their emergency meeting.
At the meeting, officials noted that “the situation is urgent and serious,” noting that the cases that suddenly emerged in the city belong to different spread chains, so there is a risk of further spread.
Authorities stressed that the necessary measures must be taken at the place and time of the cases in order to stop the spread as soon as possible.
In Beijing, 6 new cases were discovered the day before.
Despite the lockdown put in place due to the epidemic wave triggered by the Covid-19 cases in Shanghai, the country’s largest city, the cases could not be brought under control, increasing fears of outbreaks in other major cities in China.
The southern city of Sinjin, which has a population of 17.5 million, was locked down for a week after 60 locally-sourced cases were seen in March.
RISE IN LOSS OF LIFE IN SHANGHAI
The outbreak of Covid-19, triggered by carrier cases of the Omicron variant in Shanghai, whose population exceeds 26 million, cannot be brought under control despite lockdown measures and urban travel restrictions.
In Shanghai, 1,401 cases with signs of illness and 19,000,657 cases without symptoms have been detected in the past 24 hours, and 39 people have died.
The death toll more than tripled from the day before, when 12 people had lost their lives.
It was noted that the average age of those who died was 78.7 and they all suffered from chronic illnesses.
In the outbreak triggered by the Omicron cases, 487,000 cases have been seen since March 1, while the death toll has risen to 87.
The “gradual” shutdown, which was announced on March 28 due to cases triggered by the Omicron variant in Shanghai, continued to be implemented indefinitely across the city as cases did not decline.
Although health authorities announced that curfews would be lifted in areas where there have been no cases in the past 14 days by dividing the city into high, medium and low risk areas, the restrictions of movement inside the city have been extended until 26 April.
“ZERO CASE” STRATEGY
The picture revealed by the highly contagious variant of Omicron has turned into a test case for China’s “zero cases” strategy against Covid-19.
Strategy to suppress cases of Covid-19 where they occur and cut the chain of transmission; requires strict and large-scale measures such as quarantine, travel restrictions, mass testing. These measures sometimes give rise to controversy as to their interference with the normal course of life and their cost.
It remains unclear how China will adapt its combat strategy over time, as other countries have largely removed their epidemic protection measures against Covid-19 and are moving towards normalization.