Since the beginning of November, seven cargo workers at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and their close contacts have been diagnosed with confirmed corona virus cases, two of which were reported on Sunday.
In an effort to control the cluster, authorities ordered all cargo staff at the airport to undergo corona virus testing overnight and set up a temporary checkpoint on the second floor of the parking garage, according to a Shanghai government statement.
As of Monday morning, 17,719 samples had been collected. Officials told a news conference that all 11,544 samples tested had negative results.
While the initial turmoil has drawn criticism on Chinese social media, the quick, drastic response to a few incidents highlights the length of the Chinese government’s readiness to go on to thwart any outbreak of the virus.
China’s zero tolerance approach is completely different from that of the United States, which has been struggling to cope with its biggest epidemic since the outbreak began. Communication tracking seems almost impossible, with more than 100,000 new cases daily for three weeks.
Trump was seen at his golf course outside Washington, D.C., while world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, discussed global responses to the virus and how to improve the epidemic.
Zero tolerance approach
In China, several cities have reported new corona virus cases in the past week – and all of these are subject to immediate action by authorities, from extensive testing and contact tracking to partial locking.
In the port city of Tianjin, about 600 miles (965 kilometers) from Shanghai, authorities are testing 2.6 million residents in a district after reporting five cases that spread locally, the Tianjin Health Commission said in a statement.
The mass test, which began Saturday, will cover all residents of the new area district of Pinhoi and is expected to be completed in three days.
As of Sunday evening, Tianjin had received more than 2.25 million test samples, of which more than 1 million were negative, the Health Commission said.
Manhouli’s main railway station has suspended operations, while its airport has suspended all transfer flights to the regional capital, Hohhot. Schools have been suspended, mass meetings have been banned and non-essential businesses have been closed, the city government said.
While these measures have become a permanent replacement for new explosions in China, other governments have so far been reluctant to introduce similar measures.
In Hong Kong, the local government attempted to carry out city-wide tests on its 7 million residents during its third wave of epidemics in September. In the end, only 1.7 million people showed up for the two-week test run.
As the city faces another upsurge in corona virus cases, Health Secretary Sofia Chan said on Sunday that the government would provide the HK $ 5,000 ($ 645) handbook to anyone in the city.
The second wave
As winter approaches, countries in Asia are also experiencing a second wave of corona virus. While most are unlikely to follow China’s zero-tolerance approach, many have tightened restrictions to reduce its spread.
In Japan, the daily number of corona virus cases exceeds 2,000 for five consecutive days. Amid rising cases, the country’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suka announced last week that the government’s travel and food promotion program to stop the epidemic would stop at the Corona virus hotspots.
On Monday, the South Korean capital, Seoul, declared a “state of emergency” until the end of this year, as the number of Govt-19 cases increased, according to the city’s acting mayor Seo Jung-hyup.
Under the announcement, public transport will reduce capacity by 20% after 10pm and meetings of more than 10 people will be banned. The city will conduct routine corona virus tests on about 40,000 workers and users of nursing hospitals and day care centers.
The measures come following the announcement of a series of new restrictions on Seoul on Sunday, including the mandatory wearing of masks indoors and the closure of recreational facilities such as clubs. Restaurants are only allowed to make deliveries and takeouts after 9pm, meetings are limited to 100 people, and schools must operate at one-third.