Authorities announced increased entry restrictions in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on Thursday, July 30, due to a continued increase of locally detected cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Non-residents planning to depart the city will need to test negative for COVID-19 in nucleic acid and antibody tests if they have been in Urumqi for 14 days or more. Those arriving in the city will also be required to undertake a 14-day quarantine if arriving from an area deemed as high risk for COVID-19 transmission. Those arriving from other areas will need to prove that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past seven days and may be subject to other restrictions depending on their point of departure. Authorities have requested that residents avoid unnecessary travel outside of Urumqi.
Authorities declared a "wartime state" in Urumqi on July 18, placing the city under a strict lockdown, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the city. The city implemented similar but stricter restrictions to the ones imposed in Beijing in June, which comprised of a swift lockdown accompanied by mass testing and contact tracing. Authorities locked down all residential areas of the city, forbidding residents to leave their housing compounds. Hotels and shopping centers were also ordered to close, and the city's metro line suspended operations. All public gatherings were also banned. The decision came after 16 of the country's 22 cases recorded on July 17 were identified in Urumqi.
As of Friday, July 31, there have been 87,610 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 4661 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer