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Shanghai cuts tourism, eastern Chinese city restricts transportation according to revived COVID

© Reuters. PHOTO PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk the streets after new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shanghai, China, on August 25, 2021. REUTERS / Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A few local COVID-19 cases in eastern China have prompted Shanghai cities to restrict tourism activities and a nearby city to cut off public transportation services because China demands zero tolerance to allow clusters to expand.

The city of Shanghai detected three cases of COVID-19 transmitted internally, confirming symptoms by November 25, official data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Friday. The last symptomatic local infection in Shanghai was in August.

The new infections reached their peak in China a few days after the onset of the Delta variant, suggesting an increasing challenge in efforts to eradicate local clusters.

National health officials said earlier this month that China’s goal is not to stop zero infections, but to ensure that local clusters can be detected and contained as soon as possible.

Shanghai has suspended travel agencies from organizing tourism that involves trips between the city and other provinces at the provincial level.

The financial center with a population of 24.9 million has sealed some residential compounds that are considered to be at higher risk of infection, and two local hospitals have stopped some pre-existing services to comply with COVID control.

The city of Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu province, about 9 hours from Shanghai, reported an asymptomatic carrier transmitted locally by November 25, which was closely related to an infection in Shanghai. China counts asymptomatic cases separately.

The city, which has a population of 9.1 million, has disrupted its three-meter line, cut off some city-wide and long-distance bus services, and closed some entrances to highways that connect it and its surroundings.

Residents have been advised not to leave the village for unnecessary reasons, and those who need to travel must prove proof of a negative test result 48 hours before departure.

Xuzhou called for a halt to major public activities, including concerts, sporting events and exhibitions. He also called on all schools to stop offline classes from Friday to Sunday, and urged universities to tighten up on handling requests to leave student campuses.

The city of Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province also detected two local asymptomatic infections by November 25, NHC data showed.

As of Nov. 25, mainland China had confirmed 98,583 cases of symptoms, including those from locals and those arriving from abroad. The number of deaths has not changed, 4,636.

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