cnsphoto via Reuters
- Provinces in northeast China have reimposed several lockdown measures in reaction to 34 new cases of the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
- Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang have all reimposed varying measures in response to new cases as well as an outbreak from mid-April.
- The Chinese government has sent Sun Chunlan, a high-ranking party official, as well as medical backup to Jilin, Bloomberg reported.
- The country, which has not reported more than 100 cases per day since mid-April, had planned to ease its borders.
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China has reimposed lockdown measures on northeastern provinces after clusters of new coronavirus cases emerged.
The most recent 34 cases were in the province of Jilin, where its two main cities of Shulan and Jilin City have both been placed under renewed lockdown, according to Channel News Asia. There are strict controls on transport and public gatherings, and schools have had to re-close, the channel reported.
Another three cases have been found in the neighboring province of Liaoning, according to the channel.
Jilin borders North Korea and Russia, the latter being one of the worst-affected countries in the world.
With the borders are sealed to foreigners, officials suspect that the new outbreak can be traced back to Chinese nationals returning from Russia, according to Bloomberg.
Shulan’s government announced the lockdown measures over WeChat on Monday, sealing off residential compounds with suspected or confirmed cases.
cnsphoto via Reuters
Under this lockdown, one resident from a single family may only leave once for two hours every two days for essential supplies.
The sale of anti-fever medicines has also been banned across the province to prevent people from attempting to conceal their symptoms, according to Bloomberg. Delivery services have also mostly halted, the outlet reported.
In neighboring Liaoning, the 8.3 million people in the capital Shenyang are also facing renewed restrictions after three new cases were found on May 11, Channel News Asia said.
The reopening of schools has been delayed and 7,500 residents are under quarantine, according to the channel.
The outbreaks in Jilin and Liaoning come nearly a month after a city in another neighboring province, Heilongjiang, saw a spate of 386 new cases.
On April 26, the province’s government imposed lockdown measures in the nearly 1 million-strong city of Mudanjiang, which borders Russia, according to Deutsche Welle. In Harbin, the provincial capital, the measures are lighter but local residents are only allowed to move within their own neighborhoods, reported the newspaper.
New cases of the virus in China have not exceeded 100 per day since mid-April. According to Bloomberg, Jilin province has reported no more than 127 since the coronavirus first began to spread.
The Chinese government is poised to begin its postponed “Two Sessions” political meetings, and was set to relax its borders soon after, according to the Guardian.
Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, a high-ranking Communist Party official, arrived in Jilin on May 13, according to Bloomberg. The next day, a 12-strong team of medics was sent from the neighboring Liaoning Province, who previously worked in heavily-affected Hubei Province, according to state media outlet The Global Times.
“Medical treatment for the confirmed patients in the city is going well, with everything under control,” Liu Qi, who leads the team, told the outlet.
Mass testing is currently underway in former coronavirus epicenter Wuhan after six new cases were found. But Wang Peiyu, a deputy head of Peking University’s School of Public Health, told The Global Times this is not necessary in Jilin.
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