Panic has gripped China’s Wuhan region once again as as one million enter the world’s strictest lockdown after Covid re-surfaced,
Wuhan temporarily shut some businesses and public transport in a district on Wednesday, as the city where the pandemic first emerged raised vigilance after several new infections.
China, heavily invested in its “dynamic COVID zero” policy, relies on mass testing, quick restriction on business activity and people’s movements and strict quarantine of cases to block nascent clusters from widening.
The strategy has helped Wuhan and other areas in the country to keep the number of cases in check, but harsh lockdowns during major outbreaks and the fear of potential repeated curbs whenever new cases are reported have dented the economy, business confidence and people’s willingness to travel.
Wuhan’s district of Jiangxia, with over 900,000 residents, said its main urban areas must enter a three-day restriction from Wednesday, during which it will ban many large group events and dining at restaurants, close various public entertainment venues, agricultural product marketplaces and small clinics and suspend bus and subway services.
It also urged residents not to leave the area during the three days and encouraged travellers to avoid entry.
The order came quickly after Jiangxia authorities said late on Tuesday they had detected two cases during regular testing drives and found another two from the screening of individuals who came in close contact with infection.
It comes after the theory that the coronavirus pandemic started from a laboratory leak in China was been discounted after extensive research released earlier this week, a study has found.
The University of Glasgow’s Professor David Robertson the BBC hoped the study would “correct the false record that the virus came from a lab “.
Wuhan’s Huanan seafood and wildlife market is believed to have been at the heart of the outbreak which saw over six million deaths across the world and approximately 183,000 in the UK.
Potentially-infected sellers set off a “chain of infections among community members in the surrounding area”.
Conclusions found that Huanan market saw animals with Covid sold there in late 2019 and it was caught by people working or shopping there in what is described as a “spillover” event from animals to humans.
Chinese authorities have previously been warned about the “unhealthy, cruel and unhygienic practice” of animal markets, according to Professor Stuart Neil of King’s College London.
The experts behind the studies believed they have solved the confusing start of the outbreak which saw hundreds of people hospitalised, but only around 50 linked to the market.
Suggesting it is because most people who catch Covid survive, Robertson added: “That was really puzzling that most cases could not be linked to the market — but knowing what we know about the virus now, it’s exactly what we would expect.”
“Many people only get very mildly ill, so they would be out in the community transmitting the virus to others and the severe cases would be hard to link to each other.”
SOURCE: Wuhan panic as 1million thrust back into world’s strictest lockdown as Covid re-surfaces – World News – Mirror Online