Authorities in China’s eastern city of Nanjing locked down at least 30,000 people on Tuesday to contain an outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus, China’s state-run Global Times reported on Thursday.
Roughly 29 communities and 30,000 residents within Nanjing’s Jiangning district “have been put under enclosed management since Tuesday,” according to the newspaper.
“There are enough living materials in the sealed area and social order is well maintained,” Fu Jinjin, the deputy director of Nanjing’s Jiangning district, assured reporters during a press conference on July 20.
Jiangning district is home to Nanjing’s Lukou International Airport. Nine staff members of the airport tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus on July 20. Lukou International Airport has since updated its tally of infected workers to 17.
After learning of the airport’s coronavirus cluster infection on Tuesday, Nanjing municipal authorities, together with officials from the greater Jiangsu province, of which Nanjing is the capital, launched a public health campaign to contain the burgeoning epidemic.
Nanjing authorities on July 21 suspended a local subway line linking Lukou International Airport to a nearby train station. City officials further ordered the Nanjing Metro to alter two other subway routes so that they “skip stations located in areas of higher virus risk,” Reuters reported on July 22.
Nanjing and Jiangsu health officials began a city-wide Chinese coronavirus testing effort on Wednesday with a special focus on Jiangning district, home to 1.9 million permanent residents.
“We have dispatched over 4,500 medical staff to the test sites from the Jiangsu Province and other districts in Nanjing,” Xu Minsheng, a Nanjing Health Commission inspector, said at a press conference on July 22.
“There are 1,452 nucleic testing sites in the city, and all will have enough supply of sampling tubes,” Xu told reporters.
“Four residential communities and villages near the airport were raised to medium-level [coronavirus] risk areas. The affected streets close to the airport have been sealed off,” the Global Times reported on July 21. The newspaper, a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, further claimed that “nearly 98,000 people living on those [sealed off] streets have been tested” as of Wednesday.
Lukou International Airport canceled over 760 inbound and outbound flights as of Wednesday night, according to data from VariFlight, a Chinese flight tracker.
Nanjing’s government issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon stating “nobody should leave Nanjing unless necessary.” People needing to travel out of Nanjing via rail, air, or bus must present a negative Chinese coronavirus test result issued within 48 hours before they will be allowed to leave the city, according to the municipal edict.