China Admits to Nationwide Second Wave of Coronavirus

China Admits to Nationwide Second Wave of Coronavirus

Gaocheng district in Shijiazhuang is gathering more than 20,000 people living in 12 remote villages into centralised quarantine as part of the city's COVID-19 control, state media China News Service reported late Monday. The secretary of the Heilongjiang Provincial Party Committee, who was in Beijing for a seminar returned to Heilongjiang overnight and declared the state of emergency.

The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 115 newly confirmed Covid-19 cases, of whom 107 were locally transmitted and the rest arrived from outside the mainland, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday.

The Chinese authorities have announced the lockdown of the cities of Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang with a total population of over 23 mln due to a new coronavirus outbreak, according to the Hebei province's health committee.

"We have to be careful as we're near Guan, where COVID cases were reported today", said a volunteer security officer surnamed Wang, referring to a Hebei province county bordering Beijing.

China's Ministry of Transport has called on local authorities to strengthen control over passenger traffic plying in and out of areas designated medium- and high-risk for COVID-19 to curb the latest resurgence in cases.

Chinese authorities locked down the city of Langfang in Hebei Province near Beijing on Tuesday, putting its 4.9million residents under quarantine for seven days while conducting mass COVID-19 testing.

Two counties under Langfang's jurisdiction that border Beijing - Guan and Sanhe - had already announced home quarantine measures.

State TV did not say how many COVID cases were reported in the county, but authorities in Beijing's Xicheng district said on Tuesday that a Guan county resident who works at a building in the district has been diagonosed with COVID-19.

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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. No new asymptomatic cases were reported on Tuesday.

At a Beijing highway checkpoint near the border with Hebei, police officers in protective gowns ordered a vehicle entering Beijing to return to Hebei after the driver was unable to show proof that he had passed a COVID-19 test.

People line up to get their nucleic acid test in the courtyard of a hospital following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Beijing. Yichun city in Heilongjiang province on Tuesday reported one new asymptomatic case linked to Wangkui, as well.

And Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged in late 2019, on Monday launched contact tracing work because two confirmed COVID-19 patients reported in Hebei province had been to the city.

A weak and slow COVID-19 response at the grassroots level, which includes a failed surveillance and reporting system in villages, has spawned the recent domestic cluster infections, said experts.

China has recorded its highest daily increase of new coronavirus infections since last July after a recent cluster of cases in northern Hebei province.

Underscoring the risk of the spread, the city of Changchun - the capital of northeastern Jilin province - reported seven new asymptomatic patients on January 11, four of whom had travelled from Wangkui recently.

Hebei, now the hardest-hit Chinese province with the most local COVID-19 patients this winter, reported 40 new confirmed cases on Tuesday.

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