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(Beijing) Beijing on Wednesday announced tightening restrictions on overseas travel for its nationals as China faces a resumption of the COVID-19 epidemic on its soil.
Posted on 8/4/2021 11:13 AM
The country has practically eradicated the disease on its soil since spring 2020 and life has largely returned to normal despite the persistence of some outbreaks of contamination – sporadic and until then very local.
But since the discovery of new cases of COVID-19 last month in Nanjing, that focus has rapidly expanded and now affects 17 provinces.
To avoid further contagion, China will temporarily “stop issuing passports and other documents” required for foreign travel, said immigration officer Liu Haitao.
The measure applies to Chinese nationals “unless there is a compelling reason,” he told reporters.
The duration of the block is not known.
And it was not immediately clear whether Chinese nationals who already have the necessary documents to travel abroad could do so.
China reported 71 new cases on Wednesday, the highest number of local infections in a day since January.
Compared to the values recorded in other countries, however, this increase in contamination is still very limited.
But that focus is the most important in terms of geographic extent in China in recent months.
In the areas affected by the epidemic, the authorities have ordered the suspension of local public transport and taxis.
In Beijing, where three cases were reported on Wednesday, authorities blocked access to a residential area where one of the patients lives.
One and a half years after the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has also returned to Wuhan (central China), the first city in the world to report the existence of a then only “mysterious virus” at the end of 2019.
In the 11 million metropolis that is investigating its residents, three new cases were confirmed on Monday.
Nanjing, the source of the current surge in COVID-19 cases, has already tested its 9 million residents three times.