Chinese authorities introduced lockdown measures in Shulan (Jilin province) on Monday, May 18, due to an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Under these measures, only one person from each household is permitted to leave their home for two hours every two days to get essential supplies. Emergency vehicles may only enter and exit residential areas once and non-residents are not permitted to enter these areas. In residential areas where cases are confirmed, residents are prohibited from leaving. Nonessential travel within the city has also been banned. Travel restrictions were also implemented in Jilin (Jilin province) on Wednesday, May 13, after six new cases were confirmed in the city. Train services departing the city were suspended and schools have been ordered to send students home, resuming online classes.
Additionally, officials in the city of Wuhan (Hubei province), where COVID-19 originated, announced on May 13, that they will test the city's entire population of 11 million for the virus after the first cluster of cases was reported since lockdown measures were eased in early May. Six new cases were reported on Sunday, May 10, and Monday, May 11, in a residential compound in the Dongxihu district. The most recent cases in the country have been reported in residential compounds and at hospitals.
Lockdown measures have been eased in Hubei province since Saturday, May 2. Authorities also reduced the COVID-19 response level from the highest to the second-highest level, and control measures have been adjusted accordingly. Restrictions on domestic travelers have also been eased in Beijing, and the requirement for individuals arriving in Beijing from elsewhere in China to undergo a 14-day quarantine has been lifted. Exceptions to the relaxed measures include travelers arriving from high-risk zones such as Heilongjiang province and some parts of Guangdong province.
Chinese authorities announced a ban on behaviors deemed as "uncivilized" in an effort to improve public hygiene. The measures will enter into effect on Monday, June 1, and include the prohibition of sneezing or coughing without covering the nose or mouth as well as a requirement to "dress properly," with citizens no longer permitted to go bare-chested while in public.
The Chinese government claims that most of the recently imported cases of COVID-19 were imported from Russia. While the border remains open to Chinese nationals, state media has encouraged Chinese citizens to not return to China from Russia during the pandemic.
As of Wednesday, May 20, health authorities have confirmed 84,063 COVID-19 cases across China, including 4638 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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