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Cities tighten COVID-19 control measures amid winter resurgence
  ·  2021-01-06  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency

Chinese cities are tightening control measures to tackle the resurgence of the novel coronavirus through the winter months following recent sporadic spikes in confirmed cases.

Among them is Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, where passengers queuing outside the subway stations are required to maintain a distance of one meter and present a green health code. Starting December 31, 2020, all subway stations in the city have imposed a passenger capacity limit to ensure a safe distance between passengers.

"I take the subway at this station every day and it's usually crowded," said Wang Yue, a passenger at the Shenyang Jianzhu University subway station. "Since the city launched new regulations, order has been well maintained."

Shenyang has moved to the most rigorous counter-measures since a 67-year-old female patient tested positive for COVID-19 on December 23, 2020, after being released from two weeks of medical isolation.

In the past 14 days, the city has reported a total of 28 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The local government has conducted city-wide nucleic acid testing in 13 districts and counties starting from December 31, 2020 with over 6.4 million people sampled.

As of January 5, the city has also classified 16 areas as medium-risk for COVID-19 and banned all the local residents from leaving, with commercial arts and culture performances also suspended in these areas. A city-wide campaign has been launched to trace close contacts of confirmed cases with the help of big-data technologies.

In addition to Shenyang, other Chinese cities that recently reported locally transmitted cases have imposed measures tailored to local conditions.

The city of Dalian, which boasts one of the busiest ports in China, has begun to require declaration of disinfection information on all imported and domestic cold-chain food containers and bulk cargo unloaded from the port to stem the transmission of the virus through imported cold-chain products.

With the annual Spring Festival travel rush around the corner, China's capital city, Beijing, which experiences large flows of population, has begun to inoculate those groups most vulnerable to the virus.

Sporadic cases will likely persist in the upcoming winter-spring period across the nation as a result of the exacerbated overseas situation, according to He Qinghua, an official with the National Health Commission.

However, China has been mapping its own route to block the spread of the virus with precision, while maintaining the normalization of social life and economic activities, He said. "These measures have been proved effective."

At the start of 2021, with stringent and targeted measures, China has largely brought the coronavirus under control, while enabling those areas without reports of outbreaks to embrace an overall recovery of economic activities.

Roughly 34.73 million trips were made by train in China during the New Year holiday travel rush, data from the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd shows.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, during the holiday, the average daily sales of key retail enterprises saw an increase of 6.2 percent year on year, signaling an upbeat outlook for China's consumer market with COVID-19 precautions in place.

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