Fears grow for a devastating second wave
A fresh cluster of cases has been reported among medical staff at Jia County People’s Hospital, where one of them had just spent 14 days in quarantine after returning from Wuhan in neighbouring Hubei province, where the disease first emerged at the end of last year.
As a result, country authorities have imposed travel restrictions, with non-essential travel banned between villages and communities. Anyone coming in and out of residential compounds is required to wear a facemask, have their temperature taken and produce a certificate to prove they are healthy, according to an official document leaked to Radio Free Asia.
Businesses are closed except for supermarkets and farmers’ markets, with 600,000 people effectively living under curfew, according to the country government’s Weibo account.
One resident said: “Everything’s locked down. It just started.
“All households are locked down. Nobody can go into town, or if you do, you won’t be able to leave again.”
One member of staff at the hospital’s testing division said there strict rules about getting who was permitted to get tested.
They added: “Not just anyone can come; you have to be on a special list.
“You can only get it done with official approval from higher up, when we get notification from them.
Another resident said: “Many people believe that the epidemic has been brought under control due to government propaganda, which is false.
“Basically life has gone back to the way it used to be, just with some people still choosing to wear face masks on the streets.
“But some people stopped wearing masks too, so this news is a good thing, because it will keep people on the alert.”
Doubts have also been cast on official figures suggesting just 1,000 asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, specifically claims by epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, coronavirus epidemic adviser to the government, that the proportion of asymptomatic infections was very low.
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