China relocates 20,000 villagers to quarantine sites to contain Covid cluster

The coronavirus resurgence in China forced more than 20,000 villagers from 12 villages in Gaocheng District of Shijiangzhuang, capital of north China’s Hebei Province into quarantine centers to contain the virus spread.

Hebei Province reported 463 cases of local transmission and 195 asymptomatic cases, as of Thursday.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) official Tong Zhaohui said the new quarantine sites aim to avoid new infections emerging from contact between people with and without the virus.

“The relocation-style quarantine aims to avoid new cases emerging from the interaction between the infected and uninfected,” Zhaohui was quoted.

“Home quarantines cannot achieve what a quarantine intends to reach, because it can easily cause family cluster cases,” Meng Xianghong, deputy mayor of Shijiangzhuang City, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.

Hebei Province, of which Shijiazhuang is the capital, has been at the center of China’s most recent outbreak of the pandemic.

Hebei’s vice governor Xu Jianpei announced on Tuesday that a second round of mass testing programs would begin in the cities of Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang. The province’s first round of testing of 17 million people ended on Sunday.

Construction also started on a centralized medical center in Shijiazhuang which will cover 33 hectares and will have 3,000 makeshift wards.

On Wednesday one person was reported to have died from the virus in Hebei province, the first fatality in China for 242 days.

Construction site of a centralized medical observation center in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China’s Hebei Province