Northeastern China’s Jilin City has imposed a partial lockdown after recording seven new Chinese coronavirus cases in the past 48 hours, provincial health authorities announced Wednesday.
The news follows reports on Monday that leaders of nearby Shulan – like Jilin City, located in Jilin province – declared the city to be in “wartime control mode” after a dozen new coronavirus cases were recorded there last Friday, forcing the community to implement a lockdown over the weekend. Jilin City’s coronavirus outbreak has been linked to Shulan’s, which is located just 60 miles away.
“The current epidemic situation in Jilin [City] is very grim and complicated, and there is a dire risk of the [corona]virus spreading farther. Thus the most rigorous action must be taken to halt the [corona]virus’s spread,” Jilin City’s deputy mayor, Gai Dongping, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Under the new measures, Jilin City’s two million residents are essentially barred from leaving the area. All residential communities, such as villages, are locked down with entry and exit monitored by authorities, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper China Daily reported.
As of Wednesday, Jilin City halted all train services out of the city. According to the newspaper, on Wednesday morning “police officers were seen guarding the gate [to the train station] in hazmat suits.” All city bus services have also been suspended.
As announced by Jilin province health authorities on Wednesday, the government has ordered all local pharmacies and clinics to stop selling “fever medications, antiviral drugs, and antibiotics,” in an effort to force all people with a fever to a designated hospital for a diagnosis by health officials.
On Wednesday, the Chinese-language Epoch Times interviewed residents in Jilin City and Shulan who said that the outbreak there “is more severe” than the government has indicated, a statement that seems alarming, considering the provincial government has already declared Shulan to be under de facto martial law and has designated Shulan to be at the “highest risk” level for coronavirus.
Shulan’s outbreak was traced to a woman who worked in the city’s police laundry. The newspaper’s Wednesday report indicates that the outbreak spread to the Shulan police bureau, where her husband also worked.
“The first patient’s husband works at the police bureau. Now, the whole police bureau is closed. All officers are under quarantine,” a Shulan woman identified as Ms. Yang, who operates a messenger company near the police department, told the newspaper.