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2021-01-08 06:58:42

The capital of northern China’s Hebei province has barred people from leaving the city following a surge in local COVID-19 cases.

Residents and vehicles in Shijiazhuang must remain in the city until the outbreak is brought under control, according to a press conference Thursday. Residents of Gaocheng District, which has been designated “high-risk,” are prohibited from going elsewhere in the city, which has also imposed movement restrictions in other areas.

From Saturday to Wednesday, Shijiazhuang reported 83 new “confirmed” cases — people showing signs of COVID-19 infection — as well as 148 asymptomatic cases.

Hebei’s health commission announced Friday that the province had recorded 33 new local confirmed infections the day before, with 31 of them from Shijiazhuang. As of Friday, there are 123 known local confirmed cases in the province.

On Tuesday, Hebei went into “wartime mode,” imposing stringent outbreak control measures, and on Wednesday, Shijiazhuang launched a citywide campaign to test the bulk of its 11 million residents. As of Thursday, city authorities had collected more than 6 million samples, according to the press conference.

Other cities in the province are also testing residents. Authorities in Nangong, less than two hours’ drive from Shijiazhuang, announced Friday that residents could earn 500 yuan ($77) for reporting anyone who had not been tested.

Editor: David Paulk.

(Header image: A disease control worker at a COVID-19 checkpoint on a highway in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, Jan. 7, 2021. People Visual)