Flight canceled, schools closed over three cases of Covid-19 in Shanghai

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SHANGHAI: Hundreds of flights were canceled, some schools closed and tour groups shut down on Friday after three cases of coronavirus were reported in Shanghai, as China continues its strict zero-covid policy.
Beijing has largely succeeded in controlling the spread of the coronavirus within its borders through travel restrictions and rapid locks, but frequent domestic flares have tested its strategy without tolerance in recent months.
The three positive cases are friends who traveled to the nearby city Suzhou together last week, Shanghai health officials said at a news conference on Thursday night – adding that everyone had been fully vaccinated.
More than 500 flights from Shanghai’s two major airports were canceled on Friday, data from the flight tracker VariFlight showed.
The Shanghai government also ordered that all package tours across the provinces involving the city – a major trade and tourism center – be suspended.
Six hospitals in Shanghai have also discontinued outpatient care.
“China has accumulated a lot of experience with ‘Dynamic Zero-Covid’, so our strategy will not change,” he said. Zhang Wenhong, Head of Shanghai Covid expert group for prevention at a Thursday briefing.
He warned that this could be a “normalized anti-epidemic situation that we may encounter again” in the future.
About 100 kilometers away, Suzhou – which has a population of about 13 million people — closed down tourist attractions and demanded that residents leave negative test results to leave the city.
Authorities in Beijing are on high alert for any outbreaks ahead of the February Winter Olympics, which will see an influx of foreign athletes, the media and officials.
All schools were closed in the small satellite town Xuzhou, which also stopped its two million residents from leaving the city by bus, after a close contact with a Shanghai patient was found there.
A university campus in neighboring Hangzhou was shut down after an employee was discovered to be in close contact with a confirmed case, state media reported.
With the leadership determined to host a Covid-free the Olympics, Beijing Olympic Park has already been shut down as part of the event’s “closed-loop” bubble, state media reported.

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