BEIJING (AP) – Shanghai has blocked two of China’s most famous hospitals after they were linked to new cases of coronavirus.
Outpatient services have been suspended, and the Fudan University Cancer Center and Renji Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Zhao Tong University Medical School, have been cut off, along with some surrounding residential communities.
After months of cracking down on small clusters of mass testing, isolation and social distancing, China has seen outbreaks grow this winter, mainly in its cool north. On Friday, the National Health Commission announced that 1
Locks have been imposed in some parts of Beijing and other cities after outbreaks, schools are being opened earlier, and citizens have been told to stay home for next month’s lunar New Year’s holiday. China hopes to vaccinate 50 million people against the virus by mid-February.
Six of the cases were reported in Shanghai on Friday. The two hospitals were blocked after cases of suspicion were discovered on Wednesday and Thursday. It is not immediately clear whether any additional cases are related to hospitals.
Heilongjiang Province in the far north reported 47 new cases, followed by Jilin just south with 19 and Hebei Province near Beijing with 18. Beijing itself registered three new cases.
Chinese hospitals currently treat 1,674 patients for COVID-19, of whom 80 are in serious condition, while another 929 are being monitored for positive tests without showing any symptoms.
In other events in the Asia-Pacific region,
– South Korea reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus infections in two months, as officials expressed cautious hope that the country was beginning to retreat from its biggest tide of the pandemic. The 346 new cases reported by the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday led to an accumulation of national cases of up to 74,262, including 1,328 deaths. The agency said 240 of the new infections came from most of Seoul, home to half of the 51 million people in the country, which was hardest hit during a week-long jump in broadcasts that began in mid-November. Health authorities have restricted private social gatherings since late December, including fines for restaurants hosting large groups of guests. After the highest Christmas day of 1241, new daily infections have slowed to about 400 to 600 in recent weeks, and staff have eased some of the rules for social distancing.