Still a nightmare Covid in China. The Beijing authorities have imposed a strict lockdown on the tropical island of Hainanfollowing the discovery of an outbreak of the sub-variant Omicron BA.5.1.3: about 80 thousand tourists therefore come together “Trapped” following the lockdown, yet another example of how China has not yet given up on pursuing the policy of ‘zero contagion‘, which is proving quite deficient with the latest supercontagious variants of the virus.
127 new infections have been reported on the island, of which 48 in the capital of Sanya. Relatively small numbers for an island where 9.2 million people live, but Beijing continues to apply the Covid-zero policy: local authorities have said that the Hainan epidemic it started in a fishing port and probably emerged from locals trading fish with fishermen outside of China. Authorities also said that the Omicron BA.5.1.3 sub-variant, an offshoot of the BA.5 strain that is dominant in the United States, is leading the current wave of infections.
The island of Hainan, known for its white beaches and year-round warm climate, attracts tens of millions of Chinese tourists every year with its all-inclusive resorts. Now people stranded in Hainan, which the government has designated a “high risk area” for Covid, cannot leave their homes except to buy food and other essential items. The local government has also stopped all public transport, including buses and trains. In non-high-risk areas, the authorities have still closed all non-essential shops and outcomes. A negative test for Covid is needed to access public areas such as parks or offices, two to leave the island.
Last updated: Saturday 6 August 2022, 22:10
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