Officials in Baise, China's south-western town, have advised citizens to remain at home and prevent needless travelling beginning Monday, as part of a slew of measures to combat growing COVID-19 infections there. The incidence in Baise, which has a population of approximately 3.6 million people and bordering Vietnam, is minor by international standards, but the restrictions, which include a ban on non-essential travel in and out, are following a national directive to promptly suppress any flare-ups.
During the Winter Olympics, which began on Friday and will end on February 20, as well as a busy travelling period for the Lunar Holiday Period, the effort takes on added urgency. Hundreds of competitors for the Games, which will be held in Beijing and the northern region of Hebei, have screened positive and have been placed in quarantine, but the competitions will not be harmed. From Saturday and midday on Monday, 99 domestically transmitted cases with proven symptoms were reported in Baise, Guangxi, according to Pang Jun, deputy director of the local medical authority. Pang added that two people had been affected with the Omicron form, but did not specify which variety had infected others. In mainland China, Omicron illnesses have been discovered in at least 10 provinces, regions, and municipalities, although the total number is unknown. Citizens must stay inside unless to buy basics or check for COVID-19 and should choose delivery over in-store shopping whenever feasible, according to state television, citing a local administration release.
Non-essential enterprises, public transportation, and educational sessions have all been halted, and the reopening of entry points along the international border has been postponed. To navigate about Baise, essential personnel will require special permits. After business authorities warned him not to take on new travelling groups during the recent flare-up, a travel guide in Guangxi said he was concerned about his livelihood and the future of the industry in the province. "Due to the obvious epidemic, our hotel's estimated occupancy rate (this year) may not be as high as planned," a hotel front desk agent named Li remarked in Baise. Another Baise resident claimed that the franchise where she worked had closed two of its three locations, with the third offering only delivery service.
"Employees have to do a nucleic acid test each day," the worker, surnamed Zhao, said, adding that it has had only a minor influence on their life thus far. On Sunday, the southern province of Guangdong, as well as the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, reported rare local symptomatic instances. After more than two years of the epidemic, most nations are attempting to coexist with Covid, recognizing the virus as a normal part of life. China, where the disease first appeared, exists in a parallel universe, enslaved to a zero-tolerance policy that is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain.
The highly transmissible omicron form has been found in seven out of 31 provinces and all of China's major cities, despite tightly controlled borders and a vaccination rate approaching 90%. Port closures and urban shutdowns are becoming more prevalent, and the administration warned on Monday that more are on the way: After the economy suffered its poorest quarter since the outbreak began, the central bank lowered its key interest rate.
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