HomeNewsAs Covid returns, China shuts schools; Builds makeshift hospitals

As Covid returns, China shuts schools; Builds makeshift hospitals

The highly infectious Omicron variant of Covid-19 is currently haunting many regions of China that pushed the country to shut schools on Shanghai streets and also directed to build hospitals to tackle the outbreak. China’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus is challenged like never before as it takes up a host of new restrictions and mitigation measures.

The significant spread of Omicron in China has not been seen since the first time the pandemic hit in Wuhan. China’s active Covid cases surpassed 1,000 on Friday – a scale that ballooned from merely over 300 cases a day in less than a week.

Amid the spike, in a swift, China responded by carrying an extensive lockdown of 9 million citizens in the northeast city of Changchun. The government has ordered the construction of makeshift hospitals in this region and also in the eastern port city of Qingdao.

In the northeast, residents are directed to stay at home, however, only one family member is allowed to go out for buying food and other necessities every two days. Non-essential businesses are shut and transport links are suspended. Furthermore, it was made mandatory for all residents to undergo three rounds of mass testing.

China is said to take a draconian approach for curbing the outbreak, however, the approach may be enhanced as authorities are expected to implement more targeted measures going forward tracking the daily cases.

In Shanghai, in-person classes for all students up to middle school has been shut down effective from Saturday. Also, the authorities are looking to divert all international flights away from the financial centre in order to ease pressure on quarantine hotels.

According to Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Friday, Hong Kong is said to focus its immunization efforts on the elderly and children. The city has witnessed over 3,200 deaths in the current wave, while over 90% are not fully vaccinated and with a median age of 85. The virus has spread rapidly through care facilities and 91% of all aged-care homes have now seen infections, reported by Bloomberg. 

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