Two more cities in northeastern Jilin Province went under lockdown, as authorities in two villages in Heilongjiang Province culled all livestock—fearing that animals could also spread the virus.
On Jan. 19, spokesman for the Beijing city government Xu Hejian announced new rules to control the epidemic.
At a daily press conference, he said Beijing and other cities have detected people from overseas who tested positive for COVID-19 after their 14-day quarantine.
Thus, the government decided to extend the quarantine period. People from overseas must isolate for 14 days at quarantine centers, then seven days at home or a quarantine center, and finally another seven days at home, Xu said.
Meanwhile, people within China who live in areas designated as medium or high risk for contracting the virus are not allowed to enter the capital. Anyone who wishes to do so must apply for special approval from the Beijing government. If they are approved, they and the Beijing residents they will interact with must complete the four-week quarantine.
Tonghua and Gongzhuling in Jilin also announced that both cities would be fully locked down, meaning no incoming or outgoing transportation would be allowed.
Tonghua resident Ms. Tan told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that the residential compound she lives in was among the first areas to be locked down when authorities sealed off parts of the city several days ago. Residents were not allowed to visit neighbors in other buildings.
Tan was frustrated at the lack of information from authorities about the outbreak.
“We only know the official announcement. What’s the real scale of the outbreak? We don’t know,” Tan said.
She shared that she knew of one local teacher who was diagnosed with COVID-19, after which all instructors at the school had to be quarantined.
Meanwhile, in Suihua city, authorities announced that it would adopt “security measures” on two local villages, Lijinghua and Hongjiatun.
Officials only noted that all villagers were taken to quarantine centers, but did not specify how many people.
An insider in the area, who identified himself only by his surname Sun out of fear that authorities would punish him for speaking to foreign media, said the local outbreak was very severe—and there were more cases than what authorities publicly announced.
According to Sun, nearly all families in those two villages had at least one household member who tested positive for COVID-19. On Jan. 14, authorities took all villagers to Wangkui No. 2 High School and quarantined them there.
The following day, authorities killed all livestock in the two villages and buried the carcasses underground. “Several sanitation and disinfecting vehicles kept spraying disinfectant around the villages,” Sun said. “Over 300 police officers were also dispatched to the villages to monitor the process.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to people, and the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people was low.
Sun added that the Chinese Communist Party director of one village recently hosted a three-day wedding party for his child who got married. Many relatives traveled from other cities to attend, and many villagers were also at the party.
The Epoch Times could not independently verify the information.
Chinese state-run media Sanlian LifeWeek reported on Jan. 16 that thousands of people in Wangkui county (the county where the above-mentioned villages are located) are migrant workers and work in Dalian city in Liaoning Province from spring to winter. They normally return to Wangkui in late December when the weather is too cold to work on construction projects in Dalian.
Meanwhile, in Shijiazhuang city, Hebei Province, one of the hardest-hit areas in the recent virus resurgence, an insider said authorities removed over 20,000 villagers from the Zengcun township because many had COVID-19.
“The village wasn’t suitable to live in anymore [due to the virus outbreak],” said Ms. Cheng.
From The Epoch Times