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Urumqi goes on lockdown over spike in coronavirus cases
Published on: 2020-07-21
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Urumqi has cut public transportation services and applied community management to curb the spread of the virusUrumqi has cut public transportation services and applied community management to curb the spread of the virus

The capital of the Xinjiang region has become the latest Chinese city to go into lockdown following a new coronavirus outbreak.

Urumqi reported 16 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases confirmed since last Wednesday in the region up to 47. This spike comes after Xinjiang had not reported a single new case in nearly five months.

Residents undergo testing for the coronavirus on July 19 in UrumqiResidents undergo testing for the coronavirus on July 19 in Urumqi
In response to this new threat, authorities have declared that Urumqi has gone into “wartime” mode with all public gatherings banned and residents strongly encouraged to remain in the city. Those attempting to venture out must first pass a nucleic acid test. Almost all flights out of the city have been canceled.

Shopping malls and hotels have all been shut down and residents will have to mostly remain inside their housing communities while their daily necessities are delivered.

Meanwhile, officials have started rolling out citywide testing, beginning with those communities that have been identified as being “high risk” for contracting the virus.

A woman receives a Covid 19 nucleic acid test at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical UniversityA woman receives a Covid-19 nucleic acid test at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University

The model is the roughly same as the one followed last month by Beijing after China’s capital city had its own coronavirus outbreak. In the following weeks, Beijing tested around 11 million residents for Covid-19.

There are worries that the coronavirus has already begun to spread outside of Urumqi to other cities in Xinjiang with Kashgar also reporting a confirmed case on Sunday.

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