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COVID-19: China imposes new closures and restrictions

COVID-19: China imposes new closures and restrictions

On Monday, the authorities imposed a closure on tens of thousands of residents in northern China, and demanded that Beijing residents limit their movements due to the recovery of cases of the Covid-19 virus in the country, a hundred days before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

China identified 39 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday and more than a hundred over the past week, most of these infections linked to the movements of a group of tourists.

The Chinese authorities, which practice a policy of “zero tolerance” to the virus, responded quickly, imposing restrictions and organizing mass screening campaigns in the affected areas.

In Beijing, where the Winter Olympics are due to begin on February 4, the marathon in which about 30,000 runners were scheduled for October 31 has been postponed indefinitely “in order to prevent the risk of transmission of the epidemic,” according to the organizers.

The Wuhan Marathon, which was scheduled for 26,000 participants last Sunday in the city where the new coronavirus was first identified at the end of 2019, was canceled at the last minute for the same reasons.

A Beijing city official has asked residents to avoid “non-essential” trips outside the city as well as large gatherings for the time being.

Authorities said anyone arriving in Beijing from an area where Covid-19 cases have been identified should test negative.

New cases of Covid-19 have been detected in eleven provinces, most of which are in the north of the country.

In Ijen, a city in Inner Mongolia in the north of the country, about 35,000 people were placed in a two-week lockdown as of Monday.

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In some northern cities, including Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province, bus and taxi services have been suspended and tourist sites closed to visitors.

On Sunday, authorities already announced the suspension of organized tourist trips to five regions where Covid-19 cases have been reported, including Beijing.