Following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Sanya, Hainan Province, four additional cities in the province were obliged to apply “static management” in an attempt to disrupt the quick transmission chain, as the province recorded over 1,140 COVID-19 cases in less than a week.
It means that area people must remain indoors, and public transit has been halted, according to the Global Times. Sanya, also known as “Hawaii of China,” declared the activation of interim static management beginning Saturday morning in order to control the spread of COVID-19.
Following Sanya’s lead, the other four cities of Wanning, Danzhou, Qionghai, and Lingshui implemented static management on Sunday.
Wanning reported 10 COVID-19 instances, Danzhou 51 cases, Qionghai 6 cases, and Lingshui 36 cases as of press time on Sunday, according to Global Times.
Between August 1 and Sunday, the province recorded 1,140 COVID-19 cases, 971 of which were in Sanya and the rest in 10 other cities or counties around the province.
According to Hainan provincial health authorities, the number of daily cases in the province peaked on Saturday, with 297 verified cases and 186 asymptomatic cases.
The province recorded another 182 instances in the first 12 hours of Sunday, according to Global Times.
According to officials, the virus strain has been identified as the Omicron BA5.1.3 variation, which has been reported for the first time in the United States with concealed and powerful transmission.
The health officials in Hainan voiced alarm about the newest variant’s spreading pattern and stated that current cycle of the COVID-19 pandemic is in its early stages. It has spread throughout towns and has reached a particular size.
Authorities stated that the proportion of newly sick persons subject to limitations is constantly growing.
“The recent COVID-19 surge in the province may indicate that before the first case was found on August 1, the virus had been spreading among communities for some time, and due to crowds of tourists, the virus then rapidly multiplied,” a Beijing-based medical expert said.
Meanwhile, health officials have cautioned that there are still some cases that need to be quarantined and that instances will continue to climb in the province for some time before declining.
In order to strengthen COVID-19 control efforts, Sanya city implemented static management, stranding nearly 80,000 tourists.
Because of the latest outbreak, the railway authorities have halted all ticket sales in Sanya, and people are unable to leave the city by train.
The cost of flying out of Sanya has risen. Economy class tickets from Sanya to Shanghai cost over 3,000 yuan (USD 443), while business class tickets cost around USD 15,000.
According to Yicai.com, all planes departing Sanya were cancelled on Saturday, and all flights reaching Sanya were diverted on way.
Passengers stuck at Sanya Airport were relocated to hotels in the city for further arrangements, according to the Global Times.
According to statistics from information provider VariFlight, the bulk of flights, or 164, were cancelled at Sanya Phoenix International Airport on Saturday.
This year, Sanya is the third tourist destination in China to have its peak season affected by epidemics.
According to health experts, the main issue for Hainan in reducing the illnesses is that the true scope of the pandemic is yet unknown, and the province may need to do numerous rounds of regular mass testing to decrease the danger, as reported by Global Times.
The province, which has a population of more than 10 million people, began province-wide bulk nucleic acid testing on Sunday, as the pandemic spread across the island.