Guangdong’s Communist Party chief visited the southern city of Shenzhen on Tuesday to check on the coronavirus situation, as neighbouring Hong Kong grapples with a third wave of infections.
Li Xi urged officials at the Shenzhen Bay border crossing to help curb the spread of the virus from Hong Kong and said they had a “high political responsibility” to take a coordinated response to the pandemic, according to Shenzhen Satellite TV.
The Guangdong party secretary also visited a Shenzhen hotel where people arriving from overseas are quarantined. He said measures such as health checks, registration and strict hygiene should be followed, but that the movement of people across the border and within China should be facilitated.
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In a meeting with Shenzhen officials, he repeated President Xi Jinping’s instructions to “stay alert on the pandemic and continuously, persistently and relentlessly combat imported cases”.
Guangdong province tightened entry requirements for Hongkongers last Thursday, as the city recorded a rising number of infections, many of which were untraceable.
Anyone entering the province from Hong Kong – via Shenzhen Bay or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge – must show proof of a negative test result for Covid-19 from the past 72 hours. They will also have to spend 14 days in quarantine on arrival.
Exemptions apply for people who have prior approval from Guangdong authorities to perform essential, official or business duties, as well as those driving cross-border goods vehicles, cross-border students, or anyone who has just completed quarantine in Hong Kong or Macau if they enter the province within 24 hours and provide a negative test result.
Guangdong reported two imported Covid-19 infections on Tuesday and three imported asymptomatic cases, which are counted separately in China. All of the cases were detected at entry points to the province and the travellers – from Bangladesh, Tanzania, Togo and Singapore – have all been placed in quarantine, according to the provincial health authorities.
Guo Wanda, executive vice-president of Shenzhen-based think tank the China Development Institute, said it was important for cities in the Greater Bay Area to work together to fight the pandemic.
The development zone covers Hong Kong and Macau and nine cities in Guangdong, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen. China wants to turn the area into an integrated economic and business hub.
Guo also said Guandong could provide support to Hong Kong by providing medical supplies including masks and sending health workers to the city.
He said the Chinese cabinet’s leading group on the Greater Bay Area should be actively coordinating between the cities to improve coronavirus prevention and control efforts.
“The pandemic offers an opportunity to test whether the Greater Bay Area is actually a connected region where information, data and resources are shared and policies are coordinated,” he said.
“Mainland China has effectively brought the pandemic under control, while Hong Kong has reported a resurgence [of infections]. However, we cannot conclude that the mainland is doing better than Hong Kong,” he said. “Guangdong and elsewhere on the mainland has strict prevention and control measures – and anyway, Hong Kong’s social environment is different.”
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This article Coronavirus: Guangdong party chief urges Shenzhen officials to help curb spread from Hong Kong first appeared on South China Morning Post