Chinese authorities have imposed strict measures on two cities in Hebei province, which is very close to Beijing, in a bid to curb the growing Coronavirus wave. People were stopped from leaving the cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai as they have been sealed off and transportation has been stopped. Various parts of China are reporting new COVID cases. Parts of Hebei province have been deemed as 'coronavirus high danger zone' after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found. Also, eleven of those cases were in Shijiazhuang city. With this, 30 more people tested positive for the virus without showing any symptoms.
Other cases were reported from the city of Yantai. According to AP, China also recorded two cases of domestic transmission in the northeastern province of Liaoning and one case in Beijing. Authorities have urged the citizens to not make “unnecessary” trips to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holiday amid a rise in the coronavirus cases. Various local governments have also issued notice asking people to stay home and not indulge in travel. “In a bid to prevent transmission and control the pandemic, we encourage companies and enterprises to make flexible arrangements for the holiday and guide employees to spend the vacation in the area where they work”, read a notice issued by the State council.
Meanwhile, an international team of scientists travelling on behalf of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Wuhan in order to trace COVID-19 virus origin has been denied entry to China. The UN health body chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that he is "very disappointed" with the news. Two members of the team are already on their way to China and others had to cancel their trip at the last moment.
Earlier, it was reported that China has refused to disclose the exact date and other details of the visit, including the places where the investigators will be allowed to visit and people they will be allowed to meet. China has claimed that details of the visit, including dates, were still being finalised internally. WHO chief said that he has been in contact with senior Chinese officials, who have assured him speeding up of the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment.
(with inputs from AP)