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Shanghai Disneyland closed over single COVID case

November 1, 2021 People's Tonight 253 views

BEIJING (AFP) – Shanghai Disneyland was closed Monday over a single coronavirus case, as Chinese authorities pressed ahead with their zero-infection strategy ahead of the Winter Olympics.

China had reduced most domestic cases to a trickle throughout the pandemic, but a flare-up in recent weeks has tested Beijing’s determination to eliminate COVID-19 as much of the rest of the world opens up.

There were 92 new cases reported Monday — the highest since mid-September.

Shanghai Disneyland closed after a woman who visited the park tested positive after returning home to a neighbouring province, state media said.

Disneyland said it would be remain shut for at least Monday and Tuesday “to follow the requirement(s) of pandemic prevention and control”.

The reopening date was yet to be confirmed, it added.

The park began barring new visitors from entering on Sunday, with everyone in the park required to take a COVID-19 test before leaving.

Nearly 34,000 people had been tested by Monday morning, the city government said.

All tests came back negative, it said, but added that those affected must stay away from work or school for at least two days and undergo further testing.

State media footage showed scores of health workers in hazmat suits inside Disneyland, as masked visitors waited underneath fireworks at the park’s landmark castle.

The closure comes after Beijing’s newly opened Universal Studios said Saturday that close contacts of infected people had been found among the previous weekend’s visitors.

All staff at the theme park — which entered a “state of emergency prevention” on Friday — have tested negative and no trace of the virus had been detected on the site, the park added.

Chinese authorities have shown no sign of relenting on their strict zero-Covid policy.

Beijing is due to host the Winter Olympics in under 100 days, and authorities have said eradicating the virus is their biggest challenge in the run-up.

About six million people are under lockdown orders, mostly in northern parts of China.

Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, said at a press conference Saturday that authorities would continue to “strictly prohibit people in locked-down communities from leaving their homes”.

Beijing introduced new curbs on Saturday, including closing all cinemas in one western district.