Main northeastern cities under partial lockdown . . .
Just as life in China was slowly returning to normal following the initial COVID-19 outbreak, a new wave of cases has hit the northeastern region of the country. Local authorities have reported that hundreds of people have been infected with the coronavirus. Most cases have been identified in Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, but cases have also been reported in Inner Mongolia and Liaoning provinces, sounding the alarm that COVID-19 could spread again through China. Authorities have imposed a series of new stringent measures and movement restrictions in Harbin and most major cities in the region in order to prevent the spread.
Second wave blamed on case from U.S. . . .
While China’s northeastern region had to deal with a number of cases resulting from people returning from Russia, local authorities now associate most of the recent outbreaks with a 22-year-old university student who flew back to Harbin from New York City on March 19. The student had gone through a strict 14-day quarantine, showing no symptoms and testing negative for the virus. She is believed to have been an asymptomatic carrier. It is the second recent outbreak China links to a student returning from the U.S., the other one linked to a Chinese student who had just returned to Beijing from Florida.
A sign of what is to come? . . .
This latest outbreak in China’s northeastern region shows how fragile any win over containing the spread of the virus can be, highlighting the dangers of a ‘second wave.’ This is particularly important as authorities around the world are currently considering lifting restrictions aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections. How local authorities tackle this new outbreak in northeast China will be a good test of the quarantine and tracing measures imposed in China to stop a second wave of the disease.
- Bloomberg: Why a second wave of Covid-19 is already a worry
- Foreign Policy: How will China respond to new Coronavirus outbreaks?
- The New York Times: China imposes new limits as Coronavirus fears return