China has locked down all rural areas of a district in its capital Beijing to battle its worst coronavirus crisis in six months.

All villages in the Shunyi district of north-eastern Beijing with over 1.2million residents were put under isolation while officials carry out mass testing for the virus, the local government announced today.

Meanwhile, Wangkui, a county of 440,000 people in north-eastern China’s Heilongjiang Province, has been sealed off today after reporting 20 asymptomatic cases – people infected with the virus but not yet showing symptoms.

China is bracing the country’s largest COVID-19 outbreak in six months after reporting its highest coronavirus daily cases since last July.

China has locked down the rural areas of a district in its capital Beijing and a northern Chinese town to battle its worst coronavirus crisis in six months. In this photo, residents in Beijing line up to be tested for the coronavirus on January 11 after a new cluster emerged in Hebei

On Monday, the city of Beijing, where more than 30 people have been sickened in an outbreak centred in Shunyi, reported a new confirmed infection and four asymptomatic patients. Residents in Beijing are pictured waiting to be tested for the virus on Monday

Since last week, China has sealed off two cities south of Beijing, cutting transport links and banning millions of residents from leaving to stem the latest crisis.

It came after a wave of cases was found in Shijiazhuang, a city of several million in Hebei province whose surrounding areas take the total population to 11million. 

Infections were also detected in the neighbouring city of Xingtai, whose area covers 7million people. 

On Monday, the city of Beijing, where more than 30 people have been sickened in an outbreak centred in Shunyi, reported a new confirmed infection and four asymptomatic patients.

All villages within Shunyi have been sealed off and left with only one entrance each, Zhi Xianwei, the vice district chief of Shunyi, said on a conference today.

District-wide coronavirus screening is underway while residents are banned from leaving their homes until they receive their test results and are confirmed to be virus-free.

Couriers and takeaways must be left at a designated point outside the villages to be disinfected before being delivered to residents by local community workers.

The Heilongjiang town of Wangkui also went into lockdown today with no cars allowed to leave the area, local officials said.

The outbreak focused on the Hebei cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai is one of China’s most serious in recent months. A resident scans a QR code held by a volunteer before passing through the gate of a residential compound in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province on Saturday

The Chinese province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, has emerged as a new virus hot spot

All roads, apart from emergency lanes, in Wangkui County have been closed while workers are placed at checkpoints 24/7. Public transportation has also fully stopped operating. 

Residents are banned from leaving the town unless for ’emergencies’. They also need to provide negative test results produced within three days. 

The draconian measures came after the town of 440,000 residents recorded 20 asymptomatic COVID-19 infections today after detecting its first case on Saturday.

The news comes as a year ago China confirmed its first death from an unknown virus found at the now-notorious Wuhan wet market – 12 months later, the coronavirus has claimed 1.9 million lives in an unrelenting march across the world.

In recent months, China appeared to have largely contained the health crisis as citizens gradually returned to their normal lives. But over the past week, a new outbreak has erupted in the Hebei Province surrounding Beijing.

The outbreak focused on the Hebei cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai is one of China’s most serious in recent months. In June, a cluster of infections was detected at Xinfadi, a massive seafood market in Beijing, triggering a local outbreak that infected hundreds.

China is battling a fresh wave of cases as authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale to curb the further spread during next month’s Lunar New Year holiday. Residents are tested for the coronavirus in Heihe, north-eastern China’s Heilongjiang Province on January 7

Six months later, China is battling a fresh wave of cases as authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale to curb the further spread during next month’s Lunar New Year holiday.

The National Health Commission said Monday that another 82 people had tested positive in Hebei and were showing symptoms. Around the country, another 76 people had tested positive without displaying symptoms.

Hebei has recorded 265 confirmed cases and at least 203 asymptomatic cases over the last eight days. China does not include those who test positive but do not show symptoms in its official case count.

As of Monday, China has now recorded a total of 87,536 confirmed cases with 4,634 deaths. Hospitals were treating 673 people for COVID-19 while 506 people were in isolation and under observation after testing positive without showing symptoms.

Wuhan shuts three markets to hunt for potential coronavirus patients

Wuhan has closed three markets and launched a mandatory testing campaign after two people visited the city before testing positive for the coronavirus.

The two patients were diagnosed in the northern Hebei Province, China’s new COVID-19 epicentre that has seen over 400 infections in the past week.

The Wuhan authorities are now on the hunt for potential coronavirus carriers among their close contacts. 

Officials have also started screening residents in the areas where the patients had visited in a bid to prevent a new outbreak. 

Wuhan has closed three markets and launched a mandatory testing campaign after two people visited the city before testing positive for the coronavirus. A resident is pictured being tested for the virus outside the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan on Monday

One of the patients had visited Wuhan between January 3 and January 4, according to a Monday statement from the Wuhan Health Commission. 

The areas where they had been to, including three markets and a restaurant, has been sealed off and disinfected, the authorities said. 

Local workers are also being tested for the virus while the patient’s close contacts are being traced via security cameras.  

The other patient, a university student, had left Wuhan on December 25, a week before the outbreak emerged in Hebei. 

The officials said they are also tracking down everyone who had been in close contacts with the traveller.

In Wuhan, the virus has been extinguished and residents are proud of its revival

The news comes as a year ago China announced the first death from a new virus in Wuhan – 12 months later, COVID-19 has claimed 1.9 million lives in an unrelenting march across the world. 

But on Monday, the anniversary slipped by unmarked in Wuhan as commuters moved freely to work while parks and riverside promenades buzzed with walkers.

In the central Chinese city of 11 million where the first known outbreak started, the virus has been extinguished and residents are proud of its revival.

Coronavirus China: Beijing locks down Shunyi district of 1.2m people

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