China puts city of 10million under lockdown in an effort to stop a second wave of COVID-19

This photo taken on April 21, 2020 shows officials keeping watch at a checkpoint in the border city of Suifenhe, in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province. A cluster of coronavirus cases in the provincial capital Harbin has forced officials to tighten restrictions on movement. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The city of Harbin has been placed into lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus after a student from New York reportedly returned to the city and infected 70 people with the disease

Harbin now has China’s biggest Covid-19 outbreak after the highly contagious virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year.

All public gatherings have been banned in Harbin, the capital of China’s northernmost Heilongjiang province, after an uptick in novel coronavirus cases were recorded in the city.

Seven locally transmitted infections were recorded in Heilongjiang on Tuesday, according to China’s National Health Commission, prompting authorities to ramp up social restrictions.

The provincial government said in a statement that all 10 million-plus residents of the city will only be allowed to socialize with people in their respective households.

More than 70 people have been infected and over 4,000 are being tested in Harbin after the virus was believed to be ‘imported’ into the city by a student who had returned from New York, according to media reports. .

Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang and its biggest city, has banned entry to residential zones by non-locals and vehicles registered elsewhere, state media said.

Harbin is located about 300 miles (480 kilometers) northwest of Suifenhe, a Chinese city on the Russian border where a spike in cases was reported last week.

Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang and its biggest city, has banned entry to residential zones by non-locals and vehicles registered elsewhere, state media said.

It had already ordered isolation for those arriving from outside China or key epidemic areas.

Heilongjiang has been in the forefront of China’s latest efforts to identify infected citizens arriving from Russia, with which it shares a border, to curb the spread of the virus.

“All confirmed cases, suspected cases, close contacts of asymptomatic people, and close contacts of close contacts should be quarantined and tested,” state media cited the city government as saying.

The news comes as China today announced that there were only two critically ill patients left in Wuhan, the former centre of the pandemic.

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