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China races to contain covid outbreak

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 02 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n307
  1. Alison Shepherd
  1. The BMJ
Yang Shiyao/Xinhua News Agency/PA

After a new outbreak of covid-19 last month, China is constructing a quarantine camp to house around 4000 people.

The quarantine centre in Shijiazhuang, a city 300 km south of Beijing, is designed to house close contacts of people with confirmed covid-19. China’s state television reported that each of the site’s 4156 furnished rooms will contain an en suite bathroom, wifi, and a television.

Construction of the camp in the capital of Hebei province began on 13 January, and the first section was ready for use a week later. The speed is reported to have arisen from a determination to contain the outbreak before this month’s Lunar New Year celebrations, during which hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel to visit family members.

On 1 February health authorities in China reported 33 new locally transmitted cases, one of which was in Hebei, the lowest level in more than three weeks.

Since covid-19 emerged the country has reported 89 000 cases, while the official death toll is under 5000.

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