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6 Jan, 2021 09:34

China bans gatherings and travel in regional center after 63 locally transmitted Covid infections recorded near capital

China bans gatherings and travel in regional center after 63 locally transmitted Covid infections recorded near capital

Beijing has introduced a series of tough restrictions on movement and socializing in the capital of Hebei province after 63 locally transmitted cases were registered; officials say the tally will continue to rise.

On Wednesday, Chinese authorities imposed travel restrictions and banned gatherings in the capital city of Hebei province, Shijiazhuang, in an effort to prevent a damaging second wave of Covid-19. 

Hebei province, which surrounds but does not include the capital city Beijing, entered a “wartime mode” on Tuesday. 

The provincial health commission said on Wednesday that 20 locally transmitted cases and 43 asymptomatic cases had been recorded in Hebei on Tuesday, 19 of which were in Shijiazhuang. 

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) deputy director, Feng Zijian, said on Tuesday night that potential infections could be higher. 

According to state news agency Xinhua, passenger train services have been suspended in and out of Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million, to prevent the further spread of the disease. Its long-range bus terminal has also been closed. 

A statement from the city’s airport says that all departing travelers are to present a negative Covid-19 test, at most 72 hours old, before boarding a train or airplane. 

A mass testing drive is also underway, with gatherings banned and residential compounds told to keep watch for non-residents. 

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China is on high alert with Covid-19 rampaging across Europe and other parts of the world.

The nation of almost 1.4 billion people, which has recorded less than 100,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, intends to vaccinate as many as 50 million citizens before Lunar New Year, February 12.

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