One Covid Case Closes Venues, Limits Travel in Chinese City
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese officials shut down the northern city of Harbin after a single patient was hospitalized with Covid-19, adding a second flank to the country’s ongoing delta outbreak during the Mid-Autumn Festival and public holidays.
The patient traveled more than 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) on Sept. 7 via train and plane to Harbin -- a city near the Russian border that’s home of one of the world’s largest winter ice festivals -- from the city of Ji’an in the south, according to the local government. Ji’an is in a province that borders Fujian, where a delta surge has sickened 364 people over the past 11 days.
The person visited a wide range of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues for two weeks after their arrival, the local government said. They were diagnosed at a local hospital on Sept. 21 with pneumonia, and subsequently transferred to an infectious disease facility for isolation and treatment once Covid was identified.
Harbin has closed a raft of businesses in response, including mahjong halls, cinemas, theaters, karaoke and dance venues, pedicure shops, massage parlors, Internet cafes, gyms and churches and religious sites. It suspended large-scale meetings, implemented crowd-control policies for public places like supermarkets and scenic spots, and limited use of public transportation like subways, railways and buses. Citizens have been told to not to leave the city if not necessary.
The highly-contagious delta variant emerged early this month in Fujian, just weeks after the country’s previous outbreak -- the broadest since Covid first emerged in Wuhan -- was squelched. It was initially contained with steps taken by the government, including locking down 4.5 million residents of the coastal electronics manufacturing hub of Xiamen. China’s aviation regulator has advised against international travel during the holidays this month and in October.
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