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China shuts tourist spots in Shanghai amid surge in COVID-19 cases

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GUANGZHOU,CHINA: People line up for nucleic acid testing at a temporary COVID-19 testing site on November 18, 2022 in Guangzhou,Guangdong province of China. (Stringer - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 29, 2022 - 10:39 AM

ANKARA (AA) – Chinese authorities on Tuesday temporarily closed tourist spots in Shanghai, including Shanghai Disney Resort, following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

Shanghai Disney Resort announced the closure in line with pandemic prevention and control measures only four days after it resumed operations on Nov. 25, state-run media outlet Global Times reported.

Shanghai, located on the country’s central coast, is China’s biggest city and financial hub.

On the weekend, huge protests were held in the city against the strict coronavirus pandemic policy and police used pepper spray to block hundreds of demonstrators who had gathered at Middle Urumqi Road at midnight.

The protesters carried flowers, candles, and signs reading “Urumqi, Nov. 24, those who died rest in peace” to remember those killed in Xinjiang’s capital city Urumqi.

At least 10 people were killed and nine others injured when a fire broke out in a residential building in Urumqi that was reportedly under a coronavirus lockdown, Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

Many claimed that restrictions caused by tough coronavirus measures made the fire worse and took emergency personnel three hours to extinguish the blaze.

Authorities rejected the claims, saying there were no barricades in the building and that residents were allowed to go out.

Earlier on Saturday, authorities in Xinjiang removed restrictions in some districts in Urumqi after local people organized sudden late-night protests against the city’s “zero-COVID-19” lockdown policy that had remained in force for over three months.

Following the weekend protests, authorities said they are going to reopen some places in Shanghai which were closed on Nov. 25.

However, the local government has also tightened up COVID-19 restrictions and made it mandatory for residents to show a 48-hour negative nucleic acid testing result before entering restaurants and other commercial venues, according to the state-run media.

The authorities also barred the residents from leaving the city and those returning to Shanghai for less than five days will be prohibited from entering public places, including shopping malls or other business venues.

China, with a population of over 1.4 billion, has confirmed 311,624 COVID-19 cases to date, with the death toll reaching 5,233.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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