the first POST on January 21, 2020.
PART 1. January 21, 2020. CORONAVIRUS. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday confirmed the first U.S. case of a deadly new coronavirus that has killed six people in China.”
PART 112. January 14, 2021
“Since Jan. 2, Hebei has reported more than 600 new positive cases, 544 of which were from the capital city of Shijiazhuang. To identify all potential patients, health officials have completed one round of mass testing of all the city’s residents, and a second one is being carried out this week.
The province also postponed its annual legislative meeting because of the flare-up. Liaoning province, which has had a small number of new virus cases this month, also postponed its meeting.
Hebei provincial authorities have doubled-down on travel restrictions and quarantine measures, hoping to contain the virus ahead of the Lunar New Year next month. Anyone leaving Hebei province must show a negative COVID test done no more than three days prior.
Public health officials blame lax regulations governing movement in the countryside and frequent visits among friends and family for the Hebei outbreak. On Monday, nearly 20,000 residents from twelve rural villages in the Gaocheng district of Shijiazhuang were bussed to government quarantines.
The Hebei flare-up is the most severe outbreak China has seen in more than five months. Dr. Zhang Wenhong, a prominent doctor who directs the infectious diseases department at a Shanghai hospital, told Chinese media the outbreak would likely continue for another month before it is brought under control….
The Hebei cluster’s first reported case was a man living in Shijiazhuang’s Gaocheng district. Contact tracing revealed he attended a wedding days before being diagnosed on Jan. 2. As the case count climbed, Gaocheng announced a series of lockdown measures, from closing schools to shutting down train stations and taxi services. Ticket sales for trains from Shijiazhuang to Beijing were suspended last week.
The outbreak has alarmed China’s leadership. Hebei directly borders the capital of Beijing on all sides and a large number of its residents commute to nearby cities, including the port city of Tianjin for work. Hebei commuters must now provide negative COVID test results as well as proof of employment in Beijing to enter the capital.” (A)
“Hebei has recorded 183 confirmed cases and an additional 181 asymptomatic cases over the last eight days. China does not include those who test positive but do not show symptoms in its official case count.
Almost all of the cases are in Shijuazhuang, the provincial capital, which is about 260 kilometers (160 miles) southwest of Beijing. A handful have also been found in Xingtai city, 110 kilometers (68 miles) farther south.
Both cities have conducted mass testing of millions of residents, suspended public transportation and restricted residents to their communities or villages for one week.” (B)
‘More than 22 million people in all have been ordered to remain inside their homes — double the number affected last January when China’s central government locked down Wuhan, the central city where the virus was first reported, in a move that was then seen as extraordinary….
China, a country of 1.4 billion people, has reported an average of 109 new cases a day over the past week, according to a New York Times database. Those would be welcome numbers in countries experiencing far worse — including the United States, which is averaging more than 250,000 new cases a day — but they are the worst in China since last summer.
On Thursday, China’s National Health Commission reported a coronavirus death in the mainland for the first time since May.
In Hebei, the province where the new outbreak has been concentrated, officials last week declared a “wartime state” that shows no sign of lifting soon.
Throughout the pandemic, officials have appeared especially worried about Beijing, home of the Communist Party’s central leadership. Last week, the party secretary in Hebei, Wang Dongfeng, pledged to make sure the province was “the moat to safeguard Beijing’s political security.”…
New cases have also been reported in the northern province of Shanxi and the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin. Shanghai on Wednesday urged residents not to leave the city and announced that people who had traveled to risky areas should quarantine themselves at home for two weeks and leave only after passing two tests, while those who had traveled to the highest-risk areas faced quarantine in government facilities…
The government has moved ahead on plans to vaccinate 50 million people ahead of the Lunar New Year next month, a holiday when hundreds of millions of people traditionally crisscross the country to visit their families. By Wednesday, more than 10 million doses had been distributed.
Even with the vaccinations, officials have already warned people not to travel ahead of the holiday.
The response underscored how quickly the government mobilizes its resources to contain outbreaks…
After the lockdown was announced in Shijiazhuang on Jan. 6, the authorities collected more than 10 million coronavirus test samples over the next three days — nearly one for every resident, officials said at a news conference in the city. Those tests turned up 354 positive results, though some of the cases were asymptomatic.
“Chinese cities enforce a residential system — smaller ones have several hundred residents, big ones have tens of thousands — and by shutting the gates you can lock in tens of thousands of people,” Mr. Chen said in a telephone interview. “Now whenever they run into this kind of problem, they’re sure to apply this method. That would be impossible in Western countries.” (C)
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(A)Province In China On Lockdown After Biggest Coronavirus Spike In Months, by EMILY FENG, https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/01/13/956282429/province-in-china-on-lockdown-after-biggest-coronavirus-spike-in-months
(B)The Latest: China sees growing outbreak south of Beijing, https://apnews.com/article/travel-beijing-coronavirus-pandemic-china-europe-380d2e96aaf415977f46c002058cebd7
(C) Facing New Outbreaks, China Places Over 22 Million on Lockdown, by Steven Lee Myers, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/world/asia/china-covid-lockdown.html?referringSource=articleShare