HONG KONG – China has been battling its biggest outbreak of coronavirus for several months, imposing lockdowns on hard-hit areas, quarantining more than 20 million people and urging citizens to forgo unnecessary travel as the New Year holiday approaches in February.
The tightening, which comes in northern China’s coldest winter in a generation, underscores official skitness nearly a year after authorities closed the city of Wuhan to contain the original eruption.
On Tuesday, China’s National Health Commission reported 42 new cases of symptomatic infection locally one day after registering 85 such cases – the highest daily number in six months.
The bulk of recent cases have been discovered in the northern province of Hebei, which surrounds China̵
Local authorities in the town of Langfang on Tuesday placed its five million inhabitants in quarantine for seven days while conducting tests throughout the town. Authorities had imposed similar measures on the provincial capital Shijiazhuang last week, preventing people and vehicles from leaving the city and stopping public transport within the city.