Friday, August 19

China blocks Shanghai Disneyland and tests 34,000 visitors after a single Covid case | porcelain


As fireworks lit up the sky over Shanghai Disney Resort on Sunday, the talk began to spread through the crowd. Qian, a young Chinese woman who had decided to spend her Halloween at the theme park, saw a Weibo alert from Disney saying that the park had closed and the attractions had been stopped. No more guests could enter Disneyland; those already inside, the 34,000, would have to be examined and isolated.

The news filtered through the crowd of park goers but, as Qian described, it did not cause panic, despite the worsening Delta outbreak in 16 Chinese provinces.

“Tourists around me started discussing this matter, but they all finished watching the first fireworks in peace,” he said. aware on Weibo.

As they headed towards the exit, the crowd learned that no one could leave until everyone was tested. They were led past open-air trestle tables staffed by healthcare workers wearing PPE to conduct the tests, while the second fireworks display of the night erupted in the background. The gates were closed and the railway lines closed.

“I never thought the longest queue at Disneyland would be for a nucleic acid test,” another social media visitor noted wryly.

Boy Holds Mickey Mouse Balloons As Visitors Receive Covid-19 Tests At The Shanghai Disney Resort
Boy Holds Mickey Mouse Balloons As Visitors Receive Covid-19 Tests At The Shanghai Disney Resort Photograph: AP

Late at night, more than 200 buses took people home for two days of self-isolation and further testing. Another 100,000 people who visited the park over the weekend will also be tested.

The surreal scenes were sparked by the discovery of one case, a Saturday visitor to Shanghai who later tested positive. Reports were in conflict over whether he had even gone to Disneyland. From Disney initial alert He had only attributed the closure to the need to “cooperate with the investigation of the pandemic in other provinces and cities.”

Regardless, the park and Disneytown, its shopping center, are closed until Wednesday.

On Monday, China reported another 54 cases in a stubborn Delta outbreak that, though dwarfed by numbers around the world, threatens China’s commitment to remain Covid-free.

So far, some 500 people have been diagnosed in at least 16 provinces, initially focused on Inner Mongolia, but now mainly in Heilongjiang. Throughout the pandemic, authorities have responded quickly and vigorously to outbreaks, with sudden closures, transportation restrictions, and massive unit testing. But the high transmissibility of the Delta variant has seen an increase in more creative attempts to slow its spread.

Communities are largely complying: In Heilongjiang, an official boasted of the 35,000 people who rushed to test stations, queuing under umbrellas. But tolerance is starting to wane, especially when it comes to so few cases.

In Jiangxi, authorities turned all red lights to stop the movement after a single case was identified, the first in nearly two years. The move was reversed after the public outcry. In Beijing, some residents complained about flawed health apps that registered their location in the wrong place and left them stranded. On Monday, the Beijing health commission asked people to Avoid leaving or returning if possible.

In Ruili, a small town on China’s Yunnan-Myanmar border, repeated closures and waves of outbreaks have scared people away. Local media reported that a baby in the city had been examined 74 times since September.

In late October, someone claiming to be a Ruili student posted on Weibo that he and his family were unable to return home. Local officials told Chinese media that since 2020 the number of residents had dropped from half a million to 200,000. “Shocked by the epidemic for a long time, many people found life difficult to cope with,” said one. The mayor has made an extraordinary request for help from Beijing.

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are among the latest global jurisdictions still clinging to virus elimination strategies. For all three, it implies the continuation of strict border closures and quarantine systems.

Some have begun to question the sustainability of the strategy, as the rest of the world begins to reopen and accept life with the virus, mitigated by high vaccination rates and less intrusive health measures. Others point out that the strategy has worked: All three locations are largely Covid-free, having seen some of the world’s five million recorded deaths.

In Shanghai, Qian praised the response at Disneyland.

“One can really believe in Shanghai forever. The speed of response and the measures to deal with the epidemic are really fast and reasonable, ”he said. “This Halloween will be unforgettable, a happy, beautiful and wonderful trip without dangers. I hope the epidemic improves soon and that everyone is safe and sound. “


www.theguardian.com

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