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One case – millions are tested

One case – millions are tested

The Chinese canton is canceling hundreds of flights and starting to test 5.6 million people — all because of one suspected case of covid-19, according to authorities. Group exams are also taking place in Beijing and schoolchildren will be taught online. China does not seem to want to abandon the strategy of stemming the spread of the virus.

Nearly a third of the 19 million residents of Canton (Guangzhou) will be tested for COVID-19, after an “abnormal” test result was found at the airport, where hundreds of flights were canceled.

The Chinese capital, Beijing, is also testing millions of residents. The idea is to locate the infection and put an end to the highly contagious omicron variant before it spreads uncontrollably.

In Beijing, more than 30 percent of the total number of cases in the new outbreak has affected students, with clusters at six schools and two schools in the most populous Zhuang District. On Thursday, the city’s education authority ordered all schools to stop their lessons starting Friday. It has not been announced when it will resume, nor whether lessons will instead be held online, according to the AP news agency.

It’s hard to check stats

Beijing reported 50 new cases on Thursday, bringing the number of cases in the latest outbreak to 150. However, it is not entirely clear by what standards China’s coronavirus statistics are produced, and it is difficult to verify.

Nicholas Thomas, an assistant professor at City University of Hong Kong, believes that China will stick to its zero line on the virus for the foreseeable future. He told CNN that he views the country’s reports of deaths as “a double-edged sword for the authorities.”

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If the numbers are too low, this is not only a problem when it comes to the reliability of the statistics, but it also makes quarantine restrictions seem excessive. If the numbers are too high, the lockdowns will be considered justified, but the authorities have failed to stop the virus.

Early stage of Shanghai

Many Beijing residents fear a strict city closure similar to that introduced in China’s largest city, Shanghai, and so the capital imposed restrictions much earlier in the spread of the infection than Shanghai did.

The lockdown in Shanghai, which means many are not allowed to leave their homes, has entered its fourth week. This resulted in great frustration, including a lack of food and other necessities.

Since March 1, more than half a million people have been reported infected in Shanghai, according to CNN.

China previously received praise from several quarters for its tough strategy, and only two deaths were reported from the country throughout 2021. The strategy’s effectiveness was a central narrative of the Communist Party, and of hard-line leader Xi Jinping.

He recently said that China would stick to its strategy of “preventing the COVID-19 virus from coming from abroad and causing it to be transmitted locally,” the South China Morning Post, owned by Chinese technology group Alibaba, reports.

“Perseverance is victory,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

With just over 1.4 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country. The capital is Beijing.

The Communist Party seized power in China in 1949 and took control of society. Censorship occurs and it is not uncommon for opponents to be arrested. Xi Jinping, who has been president since 2013, has significantly consolidated his grip on power in recent years. He is now considered the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, who proclaimed the People’s Republic in 1949.

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In recent years, China has regained its position as a major power, primarily an economic power. In parallel, the army was strengthened.

The new coronavirus was first detected in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Source: UI / Landguiden