China reimposes Covid-19 lockdowns as it battles worst outbreak in months


HONG KONG – China battles its biggest coronavirus outbreak in months, imposing lockdowns on hard-hit areas, quarantining more than 20 million people and urging citizens to forgo unnecessary travel as the holidays approach Lunar New Year in February.
The tightening, which comes during the coldest winter in northern China in a generation, underlines official nervousness nearly a year after authorities shut down the city of Wuhan to contain the initial outbreak.
China’s National Health Commission on Tuesday reported 42 new cases of symptomatic locally transmitted infection, a day after recording 85 of those cases – its highest daily tally in six months.
Most of the recent cases have been detected in the northern province of Hebei, which surrounds the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Local authorities in Langfang city on Tuesday placed its five million residents in home quarantine for seven days while rolling out tests across the city. Authorities had imposed similar measures on the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang last week, banning people and vehicles from leaving the city and disrupting public transportation in the city.

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