Mu Yu / AP
Authorities in China are imposing new restrictions on coronavirus near Beijing after a series of recent outbreaks.
The Associated Press reports that the cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai, in Hebei Province, have issued seven-day home warrants after a week in which more than 300 people tested positive for coronavirus.
Numerous retail outlets reported that local authorities had announced restrictions on outgoing travel from Shijiazhuang, home to 11 million people, as well as bans on collecting, shutting down schools and closing some villages and housing communities.
Beijing also requires provincial workers to provide evidence that they work in the city and a negative coronavirus test. Entry points in Beijing, the AP said, citing Chinese media, had hourly backups on Friday.
The South China Morning Post quoted provincial officials as saying the lock in Shijiazhuang was necessary for Beijing’s “political security” bordering the province.
The SCMP continues to report that many cases in Shijiazhuang have been related to a series of weddings, funerals and other events in a rural village under the city administration.
CNN reported this week that about 3,000 health workers were sent to the city to perform a large-scale test drive. By Thursday, more than 6 million samples had been collected and about 2 million tested.
By Saturday, more than 40,000 medical professionals had been mobilized to test about 13 million people in four cities, the SCMP said.
These latest restrictions make a comparison to the blockade in Wuhan, which began last January, before the lunar New Year’s holiday. The city in Hubei Province, the first epicenter of the pandemic, closed its border and restricted traffic for 76 days before new cases began to decline.
Since then, China has been thought to be cornering the pandemic, keeping new cases relatively low compared to the United States and much of the world.
Reuters reports that the outbreak in Shijiazhuang was the cause of most new cases in the country on Thursday. In total, China has confirmed more than 96,600 cases of coronavirus and 4,700 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.