China sees virus outbreaks across its northeast

BEIJING (AP) — China was dealing with coronavirus outbreaks across its frigid northeast yesterday, prompting additional lockdowns and travel bans ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holiday.

The country reported another 118 cases yesterday, with 43 of those in the province of Jilin. Hebei province just outside Beijing saw another 35 cases, while Heilongjiang province bordering Russia reported 27 new cases.

Beijing, where some residential communities and outlying villages have been placed under lockdown, reported just one new case.

A fourth northern province, Liaoning, has also imposed quarantines and travel restrictions to prevent the virus from further spreading, part of measures being imposed across much of the country to prevent new outbreaks during during February’s Lunar New Year holiday.

Authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale.

Hebei’s provincial capital, Shijiazhuang, has been building a complex of pre-fabricated housing units to allow the quarantine of more than 3,000 people as it struggles to control more infections.

China has reported a total of 88,454 cases and 4,635 deaths since coronavirus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. China does not include people who test positive but have no symptoms in its count.

A child wears a mask as he visits Jingshan park during a snow day in Beijing. PHOTO: AP