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China locks down 400,000 people after Covid-19 cases spike

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  • China has reimposed a strict lockdown on around 400,000 people near Beijing after a small spike in coronavirus cases.
  • The region of Anxin county in Hebei province is in lockdown, meaning only essential workers can leave their homes, apart from one household member who is allowed to go shopping once a day.
  • There have been 18 coronavirus cases in the county since the recent surge in Beijing, according to Chinese media reports.
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China has reimposed a strict lockdown on around 400,000 people after there was a small surge in coronavirus cases near Beijing.

Residents in Anxin county in Hebei province, around 150 kilometres from Beijing, will be “fully enclosed and controlled,” meaning that the region will be subject to the same controls imposed on Wuhan, where the virus originated, earlier this year, according to a BBC report.

The measures mean only essential workers will be allowed to leave their homes, as well as one member of each household, who will be permitted to shop for essentials once a day.

Chinese state media reported that there had been 18 cases in the county since a recent spike in Beijing a fortnight ago, the BBC reported.

Government officials have responded quickly and aggressively to even small surges as they move to stop the virus from breaking out into wider circulation.

China has largely controlled the spread of the virus since March by enforcing very strict lockdown measures but health officials there have been concerned by an outbreak linked to a food market which started two weeks ago in the capital.

Beijing reported 14 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to Monday morning, taking the total since the June outbreak to 31, according to China’s National Health Commission in figures reported by Reuters.

There were also 3 cases recorded outside Beijing, which were linked to travellers arriving from abroad.

The response by Chinese officials contrasts with the government response in countries including the US and the UK, where the virus is still circulating among the general population.

In the UK, ministers confirmed that the government was considering reintroducing lockdown measures in the city of Leicester after 658 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the two weeks to June 16.

In the US, health secretary Alex Azar said“the window is closing” on the country’s opportunity to contain the spread of COVID-19, as the number of coronavirus cases surged past 2.5 million.

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