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China: Disneyland closed in Shanghai after COVID case

BEIJING | Shanghai Disneyland closed its doors on Monday after the detection of a case of COVID-19 in a former visitor, a drastic measure taken in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in an attempt to stem a resurgence, limited, of the epidemic.

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The first country affected by the coronavirus from the end of 2019, China is also the first country to have largely controlled the epidemic from the spring of 2020, after the adoption of very restrictive measures, including the virtual closure of borders.

The authorities continue to follow a policy of zero contamination, further reinforced in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

The Asian giant has been on its teeth since the reappearance of COVID-19 cases at the end of October in the north of the country, including in the capital. Ninety-two cases were reported Monday for the past 24 hours, the highest toll since mid-September.

In this context, Disneyland Shanghai, opened in 2016, had to close its doors after the discovery of a positive case in a visitor, when she returned to her province, neighboring Shanghai.

Park management has said it will remain closed at least Monday and Tuesday.

As of Sunday, Disneyland Shanghai had proceeded to the screening of its staff and its visitors. Nearly 34,000 people have already been tested, Shanghai city hall announced on Monday morning.

In a video released by official media, employees in protective suits can be seen testing visitors, amid night fireworks above the park’s iconic castle.

All tests came back negative, but those affected should refrain from going to school or their workplace for at least 48 hours and undergo further tests.

Two days earlier, the Universal Studios park in Beijing, which opened at the end of September, had announced contact cases among its visitors from the previous weekend.

Some six million Chinese in total are currently in lockdown due to the latest outbreak, most in the large city of Lanzhou, 1,200 km west of Beijing.

” Security “

Despite the very low number of new patients in Beijing (at most three per day during the past week), the situation was still described Monday as “serious and complex” by Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Municipal Center for Disease Control.

She reiterated her call “not to leave Beijing except in case of necessity”, to avoid gatherings and advised people currently in the provinces to take a screening test before returning to the capital.

Meanwhile, at least three districts in Beijing, including those in the inner city, have shut down cinemas as well as several entertainment venues such as karaoke. Life remains largely normal in the city, however.

Elsewhere in the country, after recording two new patients on Sunday, the provincial capital Harbin (northeast), 10 million inhabitants, confined two residential complexes, closed schools for a week and suspended interprovincial bus connections.

A county in Beijing’s neighboring Hebei province (north) has also asked its 220,000 residents to stay home after a handful of new infections were found.

95 days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, the Asian giant, however, displays its confidence.

China is ready to offer the world a Winter Games under the sign of simplicity, security and excellence,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy, told reporters on Monday.

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