Communist Party authorities in China’s central city of Wuhan — the origin location of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic — locked down sections of the city on Tuesday to contain Wuhan’s most recent outbreak of the disease, the state-run Global Times reported Wednesday.
Wuhan health officials said Tuesday they traced the city’s new Chinese coronavirus epidemic to a recently held “cosmetics staff training session” at a local hotel and promptly ordered the building and its surrounding area to be sealed off.
“On Tuesday, the hotel in Wuchang District as well as the block of a residential building in Jiangan District where the training session was held were labeled as high-risk areas for COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus]. The districts are now under a closed-loop management,” Wuhan’s anti-epidemic command center told reporters.
The Chinese coronavirus pandemic began with an epidemic in Wuhan sometime in the fall or winter of 2019. Chinese Communist Party officials initially failed to sufficiently seal off Wuhan from the outside world — an action which precipitated the ongoing pandemic — before eventually reversing course by late January 2020.
Wuhan’s latest outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus has seen health officials record 26 new infections of the disease within a 72-hour period spanning February 21 to February 24. The cosmetics training course that allegedly sparked Wuhan’s new coronavirus cluster infection has since been linked to new cases of the disease outside of Wuhan in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Qingdao, and Shijiazhuang, the Global Times revealed on Wednesday without providing further details.
Shijiazhuang is the capital and largest city of northern China’s Hebei province. Beijing is China’s national capital and is surrounded by Hebei Province, while Qingdao is a port city in eastern China’s Shandong province. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and is located 720 miles south of Beijing, 660 miles south of Shijiazhuang, and 670 miles southwest of Qingdao.
Wuhan health officials claimed to have tested more than 1.14 million residents of the city for the Chinese coronavirus by noon local time on February 24, according to Xinhua, China’s official state press agency. Wuhan has a population of nearly 8.6 million.
Communist officials forcibly quarantined 3,681 Wuhan residents as of February 23 based on the results of the mass testing initiative. According to the Global Times, health authorities designated 663 of the isolated individuals as “close contacts” of confirmed coronavirus patients and labeled 3,018 others “secondary close contacts” of the cases.