The Chinese city of Shijiazhuang has temporarily taken control of train travel and banned its residents from leaving the city in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The public security bureau of Shijiazhuang, capital city of north China's Hebei Province, has imposed interim epidemic prevention and control measures at the city's railway station, with all passengers temporarily banned from entering the station and boarding the trains. Travelers may contact the railway ticketing department for refunds.
All the vehicles and people in Shijiazhuang are also banned from leaving the city, local authorities said at a press conference held on Thursday evening.
The city is currently undergoing citywide nucleic acid testing. People in the worst-hit Gaocheng District, which has been classified as a high-risk area for COVID-19, have been asked to stay put in the district.
The province reported 51 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 69 asymptomatic cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in hospitals to 90, the provincial health commission said Thursday.
Among the newly confirmed cases on Wednesday, 50 were reported in Shijiazhuang, while 67 of the asymptomatic cases were also reported in the city.
The city's Gaocheng District has already completed its mass testing, with about 670,000 people in the district having been sampled for nucleic acid tests as of 8:00 a.m. on Thursday.
As of Thursday, the provincial emergency management department has allocated relief materials worth 2.38 million yuan (about 368,900 U.S. dollars) to assist Shijiazhuang's epidemic prevention efforts. The relief goods include 1,000 tents and 4,000 cotton overcoats. The goods will aid Shijiazhuang as it carries out citywide nucleic acid testing with epidemic control staff and volunteers stationed to secure medium- and high-risk areas.
The provincial health commission on Wednesday dispatched 1,000 medical staff from other cities in the province to support the epidemic control in Shijiazhuang. On Thursday, another 2,000 medical personnel are expected to be transferred to Shijiazhuang to help accelerate the mass nucleic acid testing.
The city has set up 5,011 sites to collect swab samples for the tests.