Shanghai curbs tourism over new COVID-19 cases

·2 min read

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -A handful of local COVID-19 cases in eastern parts of China have prompted Shanghai city to limit tourism activities and a nearby city to cut public transport services, as China insists on zero tolerance against letting clusters spread.

Shanghai city detected three domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases with confirmed symptoms for Nov. 25, official data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Friday. The last local symptomatic infection in Shanghai was reported in August.

The new infections came just days after China contained its biggest outbreak caused by the Delta variant.

National health officials had said earlier this month that China's aim was not to remain at zero infections, but to make sure local clusters were detected and contained as quickly as possible.

Shanghai has suspended travel agencies from organising tourism that involves trips between the city and other province-level regions.

The financial hub of 24.9 million residents has sealed up a few residential compounds deemed of higher infection risk, and a number of local hospitals have halted some face-to-face services to comply with COVID-19 control.

Beijing city's annual marathon was cancelled, its organising committee said on Friday, citing concerns of virus transmission risk, without referring to latest cases.

The committee said last month that the event, previously scheduled at around end-October, had been delayed indefinitely, when local cases spread in China's capital. Beijing city has not report locally symptomatic case since Nov. 15.

Xuzhou city in the eastern Jiangsu province, about a nine-hour drive from Shanghai, reported one locally transmitted asymptomatic carrier for Nov. 25, who was a close contact of a Shanghai infection. China counts asymptomatic cases separately.

The city of 9.1 million population has suspended its three subway lines, cut some citywide as well as long-distance bus services and closed a few entrances on highways linking it and surrounding areas.

It advised residents not to leave town for unnecessary reasons, and demanded suspensions of larger face-to-face public activities including concerts, sports events and exhibitions.

It also required all schools to halt their offline classes between Friday and Sunday, and asked universities to tighten management on students' requests to leave campus.

(Reporting by Roxanne liu, Brenda Goh and Stella Qiu; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Michael Perry and Alex Richardson)

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