Loudspeakers, banners, excavators: Chinese villages fight smart as epidemic flares up
Published: Jan 14, 2021 09:13 PM

An excavator and dirt is seen at the entrance of Beiyanchang village in Jinzhong, North China's Shanxi Province on Thursday. The village blocked all entrances except one for COVID-19 prevention and control. Photo: Courtesy of Mei

Loudspeakers in villages started blasting, long alert banners were hung on walls, excavators and metal gates were set up to examine vehicles and visitors…Chinese villages are fighting the novel coronavirus in its own way as virus resurgence occurs in multiple Chinese cities. 

"Fellow residents, please receive nucleic acid tests as soon as possible! Testing is for your own good! " Local officials from Guangzong county, Xingtai have been patrolling with loudspeakers every day after a fresh round of outbreaks in North China's Hebei Province.

Large-scale nucleic acid tests are considered a key method to detect infections and potential silent virus carriers among the population. Turning on the loudspeakers is to ensure everyone gets this information in the village, like the elderly who do not read the news, residents said. 

A villager surnamed Mei from Beiyanchang village in Jinzhong, North China's Shanxi Province, told the Global Times on Thursday that her village has only one entrance for villagers, and the rest are blocked by either excavators, planks of wood, or home renovation materials.

Mei said that these tools to make roadblocks were easily found in villages.

"We got the order to block the village entrance at 9 am and we finished setting up all of these in three hours," Mei said. Her village has been blocked since last week.

Jinzhong has reported one silent infection and one confirmed case this week.

Beitangtuan, a village in the city of Xingtai, where Liu Yun lives, put up some one-meter-high metal plates at the main entrance of the village. Its neighboring village set up a checkpoint made of containers.

As bicycles are the most common means of transport for villagers, those weird roadblocks could stop bikers from going around them, Liu told the Global Times.

Two simple tables, three plastic stools, and a long sign in the middle of the road...these facilities at checkpoints seem simple but they build an invisible wall against the virus' transmission. Anyone who passes the checkpoint needs to register their name and get their temperature checked, Liu said. 

As the Spring Festival approaches, the mobility of people is increasing. Many believe these measures could help block the transmission of the disease and reduce the flow of people.

Villages in East China's Jiangxi Province have also started to blast guidance in preventing coronavirus infections with loudspeakers and put up warning banners 

"Please stay at home, wear masks, wash your hands regularly and avoid social gatherings!" one banner read. 

Officials from some villages in Central China's Henan Province started door-to-door visits to families to check returned migrant workers and students. 

China is facing multiple sporadic and regional outbreaks. One that started in Shijiazhuang, Hebei has spread to multiple cities. 

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