China reimposes COVID-19 lockdown on 20 million residents

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China is reimposing coronavirus lockdowns on 20 million residents as cases begin to rise, hitting its highest daily case count in six months on Monday. 

Monday’s 85 new locally transmitted symptomatic infection cases and Tuesday’s 42 similar new cases reported by China’s National Health Commission has prompted many areas of China to reimplement lockdown protections ahead of one of China’s biggest holidays in February, the Lunar New Year. 

Most of the lockdowns are occurring near the northern part of China where they are experiencing one of their coldest winters on record, the Wall Street Journal reported

Many of the new cases are being seen around Bejing, China’s capital city, in the northern province of Hebei. 

One of the larger lockdowns that occurred is from the largest metropolis in Hebei, Shijiazhuang. They sent their 11 million residents into lockdown last Thursday.

Vice Mayor Meng Xianghong made an announcement that cars could not leave the city and that the rural areas have been weak points in their fight against the pandemic. 

He said it was confirmed that some of the new cases are from people who have attended weddings and funerals. 

The spike in cases comes almost a year after China’s lockdowns in Wuhan, the initial outbreak point of the pandemic. Local governments are encouraging citizens to limit gatherings and not travel, offering extra money to workers who don’t travel for the upcoming holiday. 

The city of Langfang imposed a week-long lockdown of its five million residents on Tuesday as testing is implemented across the city. 

China has been using lockdowns to quell the spread of the virus in their country, but there have been many complaints internationally about the lack of transparency in China’s cases. Premier Li Keqiang did discourage any underreporting of case totals on Saturday. 

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