NE China’s Shenyang puts 100,000 people in lockdown amid rising COVID-19 cases
Published: Jan 02, 2021 07:04 PM

Photo: CFP

More than 100,000 people in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province, have been told not to leave their homes, and 90,000 other "close contacts" of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been placed in quarantine, amid a rising number of cases. 

On Saturday, Shenyang reported three new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of people infected to 21 since December 23. The first case has been linked to a traveler from South Korea who was confirmed to have COVID-19 on December 23.

The city has locked down a three-kilometer control area in Huanggu district, involving more than 105,000 people in 11 communities, Wang Hao, an official from the city government said at a Saturday press conference. 

While businesses that provide daily necessities remain open, other public venues in the area are closed and schools and kindergartens were asked to suspend classes. 

The city has mobilized some 1,600 police to ensure the control area is fully locked down and more than 200 officials and 100 medical staff are helping locals with daily necessities. They will deliver food and remove the garbage for those in lockdown.

Some 90,000 people in the city were classified as close contacts of someone who has been infected and were quarantined for medical observation. 

Shenyang entered "wartime" mode on December 30.  As of Saturday morning, more than 4.4 million residents from nine districts in the city had been tested for the virus over the last three days.  So far more than 2.3 million tests have returned negative results and no positive tests. 

The eleven subdistricts in the city were categorized medium-risk areas. 

Two subway stations in the area were closed on Saturday. 

To further curb the spread of the virus, most other residential compounds in the city have banned non-locals from entering, according to authorities.

The Global Times found the current outbreak originated from a person surnamed Yin who had traveled to the city from South Korea. Twenty-one close contacts have contracted the disease, 12 are related to a local hospital where Yin sought treatment and others include Yin's relatives and neighbors. 

"We are now at a critical moment in the fight against the epidemic. We will make all-out efforts and take practical and effective measures to eliminate hidden dangers and prevent the spread of the virus and resolutely win the battle against the epidemic," officials said Saturday.