A major Chinese port city near the border with North Korea has started regular Covid-19 testing for all 7.5 million residents, as its isolated neighbors battle a spiraling outbreak.
China is sticking to a rigid, zero-Covid approach that has left the capital Beijing under a mosaic of restrictions and confined most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents to their homes for weeks.
Across the border, poor, nuclear-armed North Korea has announced more than 1.7 million infections since last week, leaving Chinese officials in trouble.
Authorities in Dalian – a port about 300 kilometers (190 miles) from North Korea – implemented a routine testing policy for all residents on Tuesday after reporting a handful of cases in recent days.
City officials said the men and women would be tested on different days, adding to the confusion.
Officials told state media that gender-segregated testing would allow them to be monitored multiple times per week in the same household, seemingly nuclear family units consisting of one male and one female.
A social media user wrote on the Weibo platform, “This is the first time I’ve heard of dividing COVID tests based on gender.”
The men have been asked to get tested on Tuesday, and the women on Thursday with both being tested again on Saturday.
“Testing family members at different times … will help better increase sensitivity and timeliness,” a health official said in a press briefing this week.
State broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday that other Chinese cities have also tightened restrictions in the wake of North Korea’s blossoming outbreak, with the northern port of Tianjin partially closing its subway system “in accordance with disease control needs”. have make.
Residents in parts of the capital are following work from home orders as 69 new local cases have been reported in the city.
There were few signs of easing in Shanghai, where some locked-down residents mocked an announcement that the megacity had “achieved zero-Covid at the community level”, even as they remain stranded at home.
After parts of Shanghai were drenched in a haze of chemical disinfectants in recent weeks, a city official in charge of disinfection warned against “excessive” sterilization.
Zhu Rennie urged activists not to spray disinfectant on people, use drones to spray outdoor areas, or pour sterilizing pills into sewers.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)