Based on the overwrought media coverage of China’s latest COVID “outbreak,” I can only surmise there’s not much going on in the world at this moment.
Over a hundred people infected and China’s heavy hand comes down ruthlessly.
China has a right to do what it pleases concerning their “COVID abatement” strategy. I think they are lunatics but when in China…
When not in China, the press can’t help escalating the din. This is news?
The outbreak was first detected on October 16 among a tour group of fully vaccinated senior citizens from Shanghai who traveled in several northern regions. Among the 133 infections reported as of Sunday, 106 were linked to 13 tour groups, according to Mi, the NHC health official.
Infections have been reported in nearly a third of the country’s provinces and regions, with all medium- and high-risk regions concentrated in Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Guizhou and Beijing. Authorities have banned travel agencies from organizing cross-provincial tours in these regions.
On Sunday, the Chinese capital tightened entry restrictions into the city, requiring travelers from places with confirmed cases to present a negative coronavirus test and undergo 14 days of health monitoring.
The city has recorded 14 confirmed cases in the latest outbreak, including 12 over the past three days, according to a CNN tally of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission’s daily reports.
A widespread Covid outbreak in Beijing would be the last thing Chinese leaders want to see as the city gears up for the 2022 Winter Olympics in February. Next month, members of the ruling Communist Party’s elite Central Committee are also due to gather in the capital for their annual meeting, which paves the way for President Xi Jinping to stay for a third term in power at the party congress next fall.
Already, authorities in Beijing are making an example of six residents who allegedly broke Covid rules with criminal detentions. Among them, two went out to eat and invited friends home for mahjong despite having developed fevers upon returning from a Covid-infected tourist destination in Inner Mongolia. Another two tried to climb over the fences of their locked-down gated community.
The city also suspended a marathon originally scheduled for October 31. It has not announced a new date for the event.
Elsewhere, the Covid response has been even more sweeping and stringent.
Ejin Banner, a city of 35,000 people in Inner Mongolia and a popular tourist destination, banned all residents and tourists from leaving their homes or hotel rooms starting Monday, after it recorded 12 cases on Sunday.
The National Health Commission on Wednesday said an additional 50 cases had been diagnosed in various parts of Fujian, most of them in the Putian region.
Since the start of the pandemic, first detected in late 2019 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, China has imposed strict testing, lockdowns, quarantines and mask wearing requirements.
Fujian has seen at least 152 new cases in recent days, prompting stay-at-home orders and the closure of entertainment, dining and fitness venues, along with the cancellation of group activities including those for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
Health workers in hazmat suits are not typically among the cast of characters featured at Shanghai Disneyland’s Halloween party.
That was until this year, when a single confirmed case sent the park, and its adjacent shopping district, Disneytown, into a snap lockdown Sunday evening.
The extreme measure saw tens of thousands of visitors and staff forced to undergo coronavirus testing before they were allowed to leave the park, as police blocked the exits and secured the grounds.
In a video that’s since gone viral on Chinese social media, crowds are shown lining up in front of makeshift testing sites, as health workers in full personal protective equipment (PPE) watch on. In the background colorful fireworks light up the night sky above a storybook castle.
The surreal juxtaposition of an impromptu mass testing drive and a Disney fireworks show is the latest example of how China’s stringent zero-COVID policy has permeated every corner of Chinese citizens’ lives.
As countries around the world gradually open up and learn to live with the coronavirus, China remains bent on completely eradicating COVID-19 from inside its borders, deploying massive efforts and resources to stamp out even a single case.
In its public statement, Shanghai Disney did not offer detailed reasons for the shutdown, only saying it was to “cooperate with the pandemic investigation in other provinces and cities.”
But a local health commission in the neighboring province of Jiangsu said a woman who visited Shanghai Disney on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19.
Well good for China.
As long ago as April, 2020, I facetiously quipped that the only way for the United States to beat the Coronavirus would be to weld infected people into their homes, China-style. Unfortunately, dictatorial tyranny doesn’t play well in much of the independence-minded West. It’s fine for the bugmen in China, not here, no way in the US of A.
Good for China but do we need such hyperbolic news coverage? When I see these reports about Chinese cities facing lock downs because of 152 COVID cases shower across my news screen, I’m left horribly un-sated. It’s like tuning into something billed as the race of the century only to discover that the hare dropped out and we now get to watch the tortoise running the lap alone. And we get to watch the entire race, beginning to end.
That’s what COVID-in-2021-China coverage is like.