Wuhan, the Chinese city hardest hit by Covid-19 in 2020, reactivates control curbs

All 12 million residents of Wuhan will be tested for Covid-19.
All 12 million residents of Wuhan will be tested for Covid-19.PHOTO: AFP

WUHAN (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province, launched another citywide Covid-19 nucleic acid testing campaign on Tuesday (Aug 3).

Wuhan identified new local clusters of cases on Monday when seven migrant workers at the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone tested positive for the coronavirus.

All 12 million residents of Wuhan will be tested for the coronavirus after a new cluster was detected in the Chinese city hardest hit by Covid-19 last year.

On Jan 23 last year, the central government of China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan in an effort to contain an outbreak of Covid-19, confining people in homes and shutting down urban transport. The quarantine measures later expanded to other cities in Hubei, affecting some 57 million people.

The lockdown officially ended on April 8 last year - 76 days later.

More than a year later, control and prevention measures were reactivated in Wuhan following the confirmation of three locally transmitted cases on Monday. They are the first cases detected in the city since June last year.

Wuhan authorities have decided to launch citywide nucleic acid testing immediately, deputy secretary-general Li Tao of the city government said at a news conference.

"Comprehensive screening can effectively block possible sources of infection and eliminate hidden dangers."

Since last Saturday, Hubei has reported six confirmed locally transmitted cases, and eight asymptomatic carriers, according to data from the provincial health authority.

One of the three infected people, surnamed Tang, came into contact with a tour group from Huai'an, Jiangsu province, in the waiting hall of Jingzhou Railway Station in Jingzhou, Hubei, on July 27.

The other two patients are close contacts of Tang, said deputy director Li Yang of the Hubei Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

The three patients are all infected with the Delta variant. The three cases are related to the Huai'an ones, according to results of epidemiological survey and gene sequencing.

The Huai'an tour group had visited an outbreak hot spot, Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, before their short stay in Jingzhou Railway Station. Several people in the group have tested positive for Covid-19.

The three Wuhan patients, as well as one from Huanggang and two in Jingzhou, are at a designated Covid-19 hospital for medical treatment, deputy director of the Hubei Health Commission Liu Dongru said at a news conference on Tuesday.


Residents line up in front of Hankou Water Tower for Covid-19 testing in Wuhan, on Aug 3, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

They are all in a stable condition and virus prevention and control measures have been activated at all levels in Wuhan to prevent the spread of the virus.

Restrictions have been imposed on traffic and public transportation in the city.

Twenty-three bus lines had been suspended by 10am on Tuesday. Bus service to provinces including Jiangsu, Hunan and Henan, which have reported outbreaks in recent days, has been suspended, as has service at some subway stops in the city.

Shows and performances at scenic areas in Wuhan were also suspended as of Tuesday and summer classes at training centres cancelled.

Supplies of daily necessities, including rice, flour, meat, eggs, vegetables and milk, are abundant and prices are stable, the city's commerce bureau said.


People buying items at a supermarket in Wuhan on Aug 2, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

All outlets of the 13 major supermarkets as well as more than 400 petrol stations are operating as usual, the bureau added.

"We have increased supplies to the stores around the closed residential communities. If there is any store running out of stock we can replenish it within two to three hours," said a staff member at Zhongbai Holdings Group, a retail outlet chain operator, in Wuhan.

Wuhan resident He Zhiqiang said: "Stocks of some goods are running out at online platforms, but supplies are ample at supermarkets."