China’s Covid-19 cases hit three-month high

SANYA: Covid-19 cases in China jumped to a three-month high, with almost half of the 1,993 infections reported nationally coming from Hainan island where tourists had thronged in search of respite.

Sanya, a beach resort town in Hainan, saw infections triple in a day to 1,254 for Wednesday.

It’s the first time the daily number of cases in any Chinese province or city has exceeded 1,000 since May, when an outbreak shut down Shanghai for two months.

The fast-growing infection rate casts doubt on the Hainan government’s goal of achieving zero community transmission by Friday.

Almost the entire island is locked down, with National Health Commission officials saying the virus appears to have been silently spreading for some time.

People in Sanya are struggling to get basic necessities like food, just like those in Shanghai did months ago, as online grocery apps lack enough delivery capacity to meet demand.

Among the stranded foreign tourists, there’s a sense of confusion and shock as they wait on updates from hotel management.

But the rules from the government on when or how they can leave keep changing, according to Jason Rogers, a Bloomberg News journalist who’s on vacation in the city.

The food, which guests are paying for, is plentiful and of good quality.

While hotel facilities like pools and gyms are closed, the grounds are available for walks, he said.

Meanwhile, Sanya officials stepped up control measures yesterday, asking workers to strictly enforce stay-at-home orders for those in high risk areas, with residents in lower risk areas only allowed to go out for essentials.

“Sanya is such a small city, so I still believe it’ll control the virus much better than Shanghai,” a resident said, pointing to the normal availability of medical services.

For visitors, however, leaving won’t resolve the problems.

One concern for Rogers is that places like Shanghai, where he resides, have changed their quarantine rules for those returning from Sanya. — Bloomberg

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