May 19, 2020 - 10:31 AMT
China puts Shulan under lockdown after fresh Covid-19 cases

Chinese authorities have sealed off the north-eastern city of Shulan, home to about 700,000 people, after an outbreak of coronavirus, imposing measures similar to those used in Wuhan, The Guardian reports.

All villages and residential compounds in the city were closed off, and only one person from each household allowed out for two hours every second day for essentials.

It comes as Beijing signalled it could ease some border restrictions as it prepares for the start on Thursday, May 21, of its signature political event, the Communist party’s delayed annual congress, also known as the “two sessions”.

In Shulan, residential compounds were restricted to just one entry and exit for emergency vehicles, and banned non-residents and vehicles from entering. If there are confirmed cases in a community residence, no one can enter or leave.

Last week, the city was reclassified as high risk after a cluster of cases emerged connected to a woman with no known history of travel or exposure to the virus. In response, authorities ordered the temporary closure of public places, schools and public transport.

The number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 84,063 and the death toll at 4,638.