More than half a million people in central China have been put on a new coronavirus lockout after three doctors tested positive for the virus despite the absence of symptoms.
Jia County, Henan Province, with around 570,000 residents, stopped transport into and out of the region as well as local buses and taxis as of Monday, according to a government notice.
Regional authorities have ordered all villages, towns and residential complexes to activate their “war mechanism” amid fears of a new outbreak, another opinion said.
Social media images claim to show ongoing road blockade in Jia County after officials ordered a new lock-up due to fears of a new coronavirus crisis
Coronavirus killed 22 people yesterday and infected 1,273 people in Henan, the third most populous province in mainland China. In the photo, Pingdingshan, a city in Henan
Strict isolation measures have been taken in Jia County, which has an estimated 570,000 people
The news comes after Beijing said it had largely curbed the epidemic this weekend.
But concerns about a second wave remain due to an influx of people from abroad as well as so-called “silent carriers”, who have no symptoms and can transmit the virus without realizing it.
Coronavirus killed 22 people and infected 1,273 in Henan yesterday.
With more than 109 million people, Henan is the third most populous province in mainland China.
Another clip shows the largely empty streets of Jia County after authorities applied strict measures to prevent an epidemic from occurring. All residents must wear face masks
According to the Jia County Coronavirus Control and Prevention Bureau, all neighborhoods must apply strict isolation measures and prohibit residents from making unnecessary trips.
All residential complexes must keep one door for people to get in and out, and each household can only send one member per day for shopping.
All residents must wear a face mask outside.
They must also use a health code or health coupon to prove that they are virus-free before being allowed into stores, communities or other public places.
All orders were issued in official documents issued by the Jia County Coronavirus Prevention and Control Bureau, which was published by the Jia County Radio and Television Station.
A video circulating on social media claims to show a road leading to the county blocked by a checkpoint, occupied by workers wearing masks.
Another clip released by independent media appears to show largely empty streets and a traffic blockade at the entrance to the neighborhood.
The provinces of China have launched strict screening measures to prevent a second wave of infections. In this photo published by the Xinhua News Agency, workers returning from Henan Province alight from a specially equipped train at Shenzhen North Station
Henan health officials reported the three asymptomatic cases on Sunday.
The three victims, known by their last name Zhang, Liu Zhou, all work for the Jia County People’s Hospital, according to a statement.
They were identified during a physical examination given to all health workers by the hospital on March 25.
Both Zhang and Zhou tested positive in a nucleic acid test, which detects the coronavirus.
Liu’s test result came back as “simple positive”, which means that he was tested positive but would still need more tests to confirm its validity.
Liu is said to have traveled to Wuhan, the former center of the pandemic, but had completed a 14-day self-quarantine.
None of them showed symptoms. All were placed under medical observation.
59-year-old cleaner Wang, who lives in another city in Henan, was also diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday after visiting Zhang in Jia County a week earlier.
Authorities found 15 close contacts of Wang and 53 close contacts of the three doctors. All are under medical observation.