China Imposes Strict Lockdown Fearing Second Wave of Coronavirus in Bejing

As the death toll due to Covid-19 surpasses over 500,000 worldwide, China has locked down 400,000 people after reported virus spikes near Beijing. China has reinforced a strict full lockdown near Beijing, an area where over 400,000 people are affected due to restrictions, after a small surge in the cases. The restrictions have come into force in Anxin county in Hebei province near the capital.

After the outbreak of global pandemic that emerged in China at the end of last year, the country has so far managed to get new infections to a consistently under control. However, in order to avoid a second wave, the Chinese government has re-imposed the strict lockdown after the reported cases of small numbers. They even took small surges seriously and this was tokk very seriously by the country’s health authorities.

Source: WHO

In Hebei, the officials summoned on Sunday that Anxin –a less populated area of around 150km (90 miles) south of Beijing, would be “fully enclosed and controlled”. However, only required workers are allowed to leave their homes and one member of a household is allowed to go out once a day to shop for necessities. No non-residents will be allowed to enter buildings, communities or villages. Authorities have warned anyone violating the rules will be punished by police. Yet, health professional is hopeful that the cases will be under control.

Over the past 24 hours, Beijing reported 14 new cases of the virus, taking the total since a mid-June outbreak in a food market to 311. While this is a small number compared with the thousands of daily cases in the US or South America, China reacted swiftly to contain he potential transmission. Numerous neighboring countries in Beijing were put under restrictions with limited travel.

Before the recent spike, the Chinese capital had gone 57 days without a locally transmitted case. In general, China has successfully “flattened the curve” in recent months. After passing 80,000 confirmed cases at the start of March, it has added only around 4,700 since then. However, the remaining China is still considered risk free with no fear of second wave. Yet, some of the imported were reported.

Along with that a recent spike in cases has been observed in Germany in meat market. The local authorities brought back lockdown measures in two German districts last week after an outbreak of coronavirus at a meatpacking plant near the city of Gütersloh. Therefore, all the workers at the Tönnies plant were subjected into quarantine. Residential blocks for employees were cordoned off. It is still not known whether authorities will extend the lockdown. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel lifted national restrictions in May, she imposed a so-called “emergency brake”, requiring local authorities to reimpose restrictions if cases rose above a threshold of 50 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

Overall, both China and Germany have been held up as an example of how to tackle the Covid-19 crisis. Their confinement approach may set a pattern that may be replicated in the UK and across Europe. The success rate of these new measures is being closely watched elsewhere. Yet, these spikes raise a serious question whether meat markets should be allowed to reopen.

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