Parts of Hainan in China extend COVID lockdown

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SHANGHAI — A few cities in China’s tourist hub of Hainan extended lockdowns on Friday, with some of the measures set to last through the weekend, while Lhasa in Tibet also tightened restrictions, among the latest restrictions to contain COVID clusters in the country.

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As part of the “COVID Zero Momentum” policy which aims to prevent the spread of each epidemic quickly, local governments have imposed shorter lockdowns where people have been banned from unnecessary movement for a few days or weeks until that the clusters are contained in narrower zones.

These lockdowns have been less painful than Shanghai’s two-month virus battle in the spring, but Omicron’s growing spread across China could lead to more cities being subjected to such measures, as well as the disruption potential of local businesses.

In the southern province of Hainan, currently China’s worst-hit region, two cities, Dongfang and Chengmai, with a combined population of around 900,000, said on Friday they would add days to their residents’ lockdowns, extending that which was previously scheduled for three to four days to about a week.

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Hainan’s provincial capital, Haikou, quarantined its 2.9 million residents between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time on Friday following similar restrictions that covered main hours on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.


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Several million people in other Hainan cities, including Sanya, were stuck with no specific dates for when the restrictions would be lifted.

In Tibet’s western region, the largest city of Lhasa told residents not to go out unless they have special and urgent business to attend to between Friday and Monday, as COVID workers carried out work disinfection in major urban areas.

Outside of Hainan and Tibet, small towns that have told residents not to leave their homes unnecessarily during further lockdowns include Fengcheng in the southeastern province of Jiangxi and Kuqa in the western region of Xinjiang.

Mainland China reported 1,851 new locally transmitted coronavirus infections on August 11, of which 648 were symptomatic and 1,203 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Friday.

These new cases have been reported in more than a dozen provinces, regions and municipalities, but mainly in Hainan.

There were no new deaths, keeping the country’s death toll at 5,226.

Shanghai financial center reported seven new local cases on Aug. 11, while southern technology hub Shenzhen reported one new local case.

The Chinese capital, Beijing, reported no new local cases.


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