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Covid-19: Amid China Re-Imposing Fresh Lockdowns, Hong Kong Seeks To Open To China

New outbreaks in China have caused the country to re-impose lockdowns. Meanwhile, Hong-Kong is largely closed to international travel with travelers from countries deemed high-risk such as the U.S. must serve a 21-day quarantine.

S Korea reports 2,827 more Covid-19 cases
S Korea reports 2,827 more Covid-19 cases. (Photo:PTI)

New Delhi: China is re-imposing fresh lockdowns amid rising COVID-19 infections, the country recorded more than 100 cases across 11 provinces over the last week.” Since October 17, there have been multiple scattered local outbreaks in China, and they’re expanding rapidly,” Mi Feng, a spokesman at the National Health Commission (NHC), said at a news conference Sunday.

“There is an increasing risk that the outbreak will spread even further,” reported CNN. The rapid spread comes despite about 75 per cent of China’s population — of more than a billion people — being fully vaccinated, according to Mi. The spread of coronavirus infections worried the Chinese government, which insists on a strict zero-COVID policy to stamp out infections.

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The outbreak was first detected on October 16 among a tour group of fully vaccinated senior citizens from Shanghai who travelled in several northern regions. Among the 133 infections reported as of Sunday, 106 were linked to 13 tour groups, according to Mi, the NHC health official, reported CNN.

Infections have been reported in nearly a third of the country’s provinces and regions, with all medium- and high-risk regions concentrated in Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Guizhou and Beijing. Authorities have banned travel agencies from organising cross-provincial tours in these regions.

On Sunday, the Chinese capital tightened entry restrictions into the city, requiring travellers from places with confirmed cases to present a negative coronavirus test and undergo 14 days of health monitoring, reported CNN.

The city has recorded 14 confirmed cases in the latest outbreak, including 12 over the past three days, according to a CNN tally of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission’s daily reports.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong will tighten COVID-19 restrictions despite a lack of local outbreaks to better align with China’s policies and increase chances of quarantine-free travel between the territory and mainland, leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday.

Hong Kong has not had a major local outbreak since the beginning of the year, with virtually no local transmission in recent months. But it is largely closed to international travel, and travelers from countries deemed high-risk such as the U.S. must serve a 21-day quarantine.

With Inputs From PTI.

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