Is this the world’s most brutal Covid quarantine? Shenyang in China imposes 56-day isolation

·2-min read
File: A primary school staff member undergoes a nucleic acid test to detect the novel coronavirus ahead of the new semester at a school in Shenyang in China’s northeastern Liaoning province on 30 August 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)
File: A primary school staff member undergoes a nucleic acid test to detect the novel coronavirus ahead of the new semester at a school in Shenyang in China’s northeastern Liaoning province on 30 August 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)

A city in China has doubled down on its “zero Covid” strategy as it reportedly requires overseas travellers to quarantine for at least 56 days.

People travelling to the northern city of Shenyang will have to quarantine themselves in a hotel for not less than 28 days, during which they will be tested for the coronavirus seven times, according to the New York Times.

The quarantine period in hotels is reportedly so strict that people are not allowed to open doors for any purpose other than accepting food deliveries, said the report.

After the completion of their hotel isolation, individuals are expected to stay inside their homes for another 28 days.

Restrictions are stringent for domestic travellers as well. Those entering Shenyang from other parts of the country are expected to remain in hotel quarantine for two weeks and monitor themselves at home for another two weeks, according to NYT.

The restrictions, which have been observed in Shenyang for over a month, came shortly after the country began to lock down its cities mid October to contain the spread of pandemic.

China reported 39 symptomatic and 25 asymptomatic cases on Wednesday. Officials intend to squash domestic flareups using aggressive curbs.

After having fully vaccinated 75 per cent of its total population, the country intends to roll out booster shots, reported Bloomberg.

China has also built a 5,000-room quarantine facility in the outskirts of the southern metropolis of Guangzhou to house those arriving from overseas, indicating that it does not intend to ease its border controls, according to an Al Jazeera report.

The three-story compound, equipped with 5G communication technology and artificial intelligence infrastructure, was built in less than a month, reported the outlet.

Unlike several other countries which allow quarantine concessions to full vaccinated individuals, getting a jab in China does not warrant any relaxations as quarantine rules apply to all, the report said.

Meanwhile, a top Chinese virologist has warned against economic collapse as a result of the country’s zero Covid approach.

Guan Yi, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said in an interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite TV that the country does not “stand a chance if [it pursues] a target of zero Covid”.

“The virus is here today, just like flu. That’s a fact, whether people like it or not,” he was quoted as saying.

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