China closes Xinjiang capital after 17 new cases appear

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Chinese authorities issued an order to close Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region and home to the marginalized Uyghur minority, on Thursday, with 17 new cases appearing after nearly five months without registering infections.

The cases – six with symptoms, eleven asymptomatic – have led to the closure of the city’s only metro line, where 3.5 million people live, and restrictions on airport entries and exits.

During the last few hours the city has also been the scene of tense scenes in supermarkets due to emergency purchases, and several of the districts are already completely confined. The last time the region verified a case was 149 days ago.

The local authorities of the Chinese Communist Party have assured that they will do everything possible to “cut the vectors of contagion in the bud, strengthen control of the most crowded places, manage the situation in the most depopulated localities and rigorously control the situation in hospitals” , reports the ‘South China Morning Post’.

In total, there are 1,998 imported cases that have been confirmed in China in the last hours, while the total cases amount to 83,622.

There has also been no record in the last hours of any death from COVID-19, so the balance of fatalities remains at 4,634.

For its part, 78,737 people have managed to recover from the disease in China, 18 of them in the last 24 hours. However, 251 people remain under medical care, three of them in serious condition.

Furthermore, the Chinese Ministry of Health has confirmed that 3,651 people who have maintained close contact with infected patients are still under medical observation, after 46 have completed this process in the last few hours.

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