North-east China county imposes traffic curbs on Covid-19 cases

Donggang county in Liaoning province, close to North Korea, barred most vehicles from midnight on June 4, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - A county in China's north-eastern Dandong city near North Korea imposed traffic curbs from Saturday (June 4) because of a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the area, even as the government declares victory over the virus in previous hot spots including the financial centre of Shanghai.

The county of Donggang barred most vehicles from the roads from midnight on Saturday, CCTV reported, citing a police statement.

Vehicles delivering medical care and basic necessities are exempt from the curbs, the state broadcaster said.

China's authorities have warned of risks of Covid-19 spreading from North Korea after several border cities reported new cases last week.

Dandong, which is in Liaoning province and serves as a trade hub with North Korea, is exposed to a higher risk of infection, as are towns and cities in the neighbouring Jilin province.

Liaoning province on Friday reported that new coronavirus cases more than tripled from a day earlier. The 26 infections recorded by Dandong were all asymptomatic, according to the local health commission.

North Korea logged 79,100 "fever" cases on Saturday after it removed lockdowns and said it had the flare-up under full control.

China has declared victory over its latest Covid-19 outbreaks and reopened the city of Shanghai on Wednesday after months-long lockdowns. The nationwide daily virus toll dropped to 76 for Friday, with 14 in Shanghai, according to the national heath commission.

Officials in Beijing said at a briefing on Saturday that the capital city's outbreak has entered its final stage, although curbs will remain tight. The city reported 12 new infections for June 4 as at 3pm, all in people already in quarantine.

Still, the threat of strict movement restrictions and mass testings at any sign of the virus re-emerging have damped hopes of an economic rebound, with economists and officials warning it became harder to meet the yearly gross domestic product target.

Premier Li Keqiang suggested in a meeting with officials last month that the government's growth target is moving further out of reach as the economy comes under severe strain from Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns.

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