Story at a glance

  • Roughly 108 million people face new lockdowns in China’s northeast region after about 34 new cases of coronavirus and one death were recently reported, according to Bloomberg News.
  • At least three new COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday and two Sunday.
  • Government officials throughout the Jilin province have stopped buses and trains from going in and out of the region, and schools have been shut down.

More than 100 million people in China’s northeast region could be forced back into lockdown restrictions after new cases of coronavirus have emerged in the region over the past few weeks, according to Bloomberg News

About 34 new cases of coronavirus and one death were recently reported in China's Jilin province in the northeast region of the country. At least three new COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday and two Sunday. Overall, the Jilin province has just 127 total confirmed cases and two deaths since the virus emerged late last year. That’s compared to the 68,134 cases reported in Hubei province where the virus originated. 


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Government officials throughout the province have stopped buses and trains from going in and out of the region, and schools have been shut down. Tens of thousands of people are also being quarantined, according to Bloomberg News. 

On Monday, government officials from Shulan, a city in the province, said it would impose its strictest restrictions yet to try to contain the outbreak, including closing off residential compounds with confirmed and suspected cases. Officials would also allow only one person from each family to leave to buy essential supplies for two hours every two days, according to Bloomberg. 

The highest-ranking Communist Party official in Shulan was removed along with five other government officials as a result of the new outbreak. 

It’s not clear where the cluster of new cases originated, but health officials say it may have to do with people returning from Russia, which currently has the second highest number of cases in the world, with more than 290,000. 

Strict lockdowns in Wuhan beginning in January helped keep the virus in China largely confined to the Hubei province, but health experts have warned about a resurgence in cases if lockdowns were lifted too soon. 

Last week, Wuhan reported six new cases, breaking a 35-day streak of zero new daily cases. The government in the city has not reimposed a lockdown but is currently testing all 11 million residents. 

The U.S. still leads the world in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. More than 1.4 million people have been infected with nearly 90,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.


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Correction: A previous version of this story claimed more than 100 million people in China's northeast region were under lockdown. The article has been changed to clarify people in the region face possible widespread lockdowns.

Published on May 18, 2020