Even as Wuhan came back to life, new imported cases in the far northern province of Heilongjiang surged to a daily high of 25, fuelled by an influx of infected travellers crossing the border from Russia. On Wednesday, Suifenhe city announced restrictions on the movement of citizens similar to the ones Wuhan has endured.
People must stay in their residential compounds and only one person per family can leave once every three days to buy necessities, and must return on the same day, state-run CCTV reported. “While the whole country is celebrating the unlocking of Wuhan, few noticed that Heilongjiang is under enormous pressure of dealing with infections coming over the border,” one person wrote on the Weibo social media platform.“Suifenhe is a small city without any high-level hospitals, how can it handle the huge influx of patients?”
Some 55,000 people were expected to leave Wuhan by train on Wednesday. By early morning, more than 10,000 had left by plane, an airport official said. Flights to Beijing and international locations have not resumed.
“I’m very happy, I’m going home today,” migrant worker Liu Xiaomin told Reuters as she stood with her suitcases inside Wuhan’s Hankou railway station, bound for Xiangyang city.
People from Wuhan arriving in Beijing must undergo two rounds of testing for the virus.
China is maintaining strict screening protocols, concerned about any resurgence in infections by virus carriers who exhibit no symptoms and infected travellers arriving from abroad.
China’s new coronavirus cases doubled on Tuesday as the number of infected travellers from overseas surged, while new asymptomatic infections more than quadrupled.
New confirmed cases rose to 62 on Tuesday from 32 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said, the most since March 25. New imported infections accounted for 59 of the cases.
The number of new asymptomatic cases rose to 137 from 30 a day earlier, the health authority said on Wednesday, with incoming travellers accounting for 102 of the latest batch.
Authorities do not count asymptomatic cases in their tally of confirmed infections until patients show symptoms such as a fever or a cough. As of Tuesday, 1,095 asymptomatic patients were under medical observation, with 358 of them travellers arriving from abroad.
To stem infections from outside its borders, China has slashed the number of international flights and denied entry to virtually all foreigners. It also started testing all international arrivals for the virus this month.