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Covid Hits Beijing’s Universal Resort, Wuhan and Guangzhou

Cases have been rising in China, even in the Beijing, which has some of the strictest Covid barriers, despite the tough zero-Covid policy. Parts of Wuhan and Guangzhou have also been locked down


Covid controls forced the closure of the Universal Studios resort in Beijing, plus parts of Wuhan and Guangzhou on Wednesday.
Tourists walk near an entrance to the Universal Studios theme park as it reopened to the public after a long Covid break in Beijing, on June 25, 2022. File photo: Tingshu Wang, Reuters.

 

Chinese authorities on Wednesday locked down parts of two large cities – Wuhan and Guangzhou – in further Covid prevention measures, which also forced the closure of the Universal Beijing Resort amusement park.

Cases have been rising in China, even in the capital Beijing, which has some of the country’s strictest Covid barriers, despite its tough zero-Covid policy.

Beijing, where the Communist Party’s 20th National Congress was just held, has seen infections rise after the national Golden Week holidays at the beginning of this month.

For Tuesday October 25, the city reported 19 symptomatic cases and one asymptomatic infection, while the country as a whole reported a total of 1,407 new cases, the highest count in 12 days.

The Universal theme park did not indicate when it would reopen but said it would refund or reschedule tickets.

“We will continue to assess the impact on operations and strive to resume operations as soon as possible,” it said on the Weibo social media platform.

The theme park is 30% owned by Comcast Corp’s Universal Parks & Resorts and 70% by state-owned Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment.

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‘This is the Third Year!’

Officials in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus emerged nearly three years ago to bring sickness and disruption to the world, shuttered its Hanyang district after a spike in cases.

The district’s more than 800,000 people have been told to stay at home from October 26 to October 30, as services were limited across sectors, authorities said.

Union hospital in Wuhan suspended outpatient services after a member of staff at a canteen tested positive, the hospital said in a release. Universities in Wuhan also reverted to online teaching.

“It’s already the third year and things are still like this,” Wuhan resident Joy Dai, who works in the tourism sector, said.

“It affects me both mentally and physically … but I’m helpless in all of this so I’ve learned to accept it.”

The city Guangzhou, which reported 27 new local symptomatic coronavirus cases and 46 asymptomatic cases on Tuesday, classified five more of its districts as high-risk: Huangpu, Nansha, Panyu, Yuexiu and Conghua.

The southern metropolis and manufacturing hub had already shut down daily social activities and called for mass testing in the Haizhu and Baiyun districts.

China’s economic growth has hit a speed bump in the fourth quarter as Covid curbs limited travel and shipping, constraining consumption and commerce in the world’s second-largest economy.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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