Beijing — As China’s Shijiazhuang city aims to curb a growing Covid-19 outbreak, construction crews are working round the clock to build thousands of prefabricated rooms to function as a massive quarantine facility.
Shijiazhuang, a city in northern China and the provincial capital of Hebei province, has the bulk of new Covid-19 cases.
In anticipation of an overflow of patients during the Chinese New Year travel rush, state media on Friday (Jan 15) revealed farmland in Shijiazhuang being transformed into a massive quarantine facility.
The scene provided a flashback of China rapidly erecting field hospitals or turning gymnasiums into isolation centres early last year to combat the Wuhan outbreak, the central city where the virus first emerged.
When completed, the new quarantine facility will hold 4,160 beds, reported state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday (Jan 19). The report showcased workers in high-visibility vests and hard hats working in the dark as they assembled cabin-like structures.
Flags marked with the names of construction teams and Communist Party units waved from the finished buildings.
The quarantine facility, construction work on which began on Jan 13, is reported to be equipped with bathrooms, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. It will begin taking in close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 patients once it is completed in the next few days.
Meanwhile, mainland China posted 118 new cases on Monday (Jan 18), up from 109 cases the day earlier.
The authorities had immediately implemented new Covid-19 curbs in areas surrounding Beijing on Jan 12, resulting in 4.9 million residents being placed under lockdown.
After mostly containing the pandemic, the resurgence of Covid-19 has placed China on high alert, especially with the coming holiday. Millions of people will be travelling back to their hometowns from the city for the Chinese New Year festivities, an event deemed to “pose massive challenges” to virus prevention, said senior national health official Wang Bin.
China now has 88,454 cases with a death toll of 4,635. /TISG
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