The southern city of Guangzhou yesterday canceled all domestic flights and began testing 5.6 million people over four confirmed COVID-19 infections, part of an escalating battle across China against the pandemic.
The major trade and manufacturing hub announced mass testing for almost a third of its near 19 million residents after an “abnormal” test result was detected at its airport, where most flights have been canceled.
Meanwhile, the tech hub of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province late on Wednesday ordered 9.4 million downtown residents out of its 12.2 million population to get tested every 48 hours if they want to access public spaces and transportation.
The aim is “that the virus has nowhere to hide or settle,” the city government said in a statement.
The outbreaks are expected to hit tourism during next week’s May Day national holiday, one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
Chinese travelers are forecast to make 100 million domestic trips during the five-day holiday, down 62 percent from 2021, transport official Zhou Min said.
Wang Yang, a 34-year-old Beijing resident, said he had canceled his vacation plans because of the Omicron surge.
National Health Commission official Wu Liangyou yesterday said that “it’s difficult” to prevent a “rebound or spillover.”