Shanghai cuts tourism, eastern Chinese city limits transport amid COVID resurgence


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SHANGHAI, November 26 (Reuters)A handful of local COVID-19 cases in eastern China have prompted the city of Shanghai to limit tourist activities and a neighboring city to cut public transport services as China insists on zero tolerance against the spread clusters.

The city of Shanghai has detected three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases with symptoms confirmed for November 25, official data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Friday. The last local symptomatic infection in Shanghai was reported in August.

The new infections came just days after China contained its largest outbreak caused by the Delta variant, suggesting the growing challenge of efforts to eliminate local clusters.

National health officials said earlier this month that China’s goal is not to stay at zero infections, but to ensure that local clusters can be detected and contained as quickly as possible.

Shanghai has suspended travel agencies from organizing tourism involving trips between the city and other regions at the provincial level.

The financial center of 24.9 million people has sealed off a few residential complexes considered to be at higher risk of infection, and two local hospitals have halted some face-to-face services to comply with COVID control.

Xuzhou city in eastern Jiangsu Province, about a 9-hour drive from Shanghai, reported a locally transmitted asymptomatic carrier on November 25 who was a close contact of an infection in Shanghai. China counts asymptomatic cases separately.

The city of 9.1 million people has suspended its three metro lines, cut some city-wide bus services and long-distance bus services, and closed some entrances on highways connecting it to surrounding areas .

He advised residents not to leave the city for unnecessary reasons, and those who must travel must show proof of a negative test result within 48 hours before departure.

Xuzhou requested the suspension of bigger face-to-face public activities including concerts, sporting events and exhibitions. He also demanded that all schools stop their offline classes between Friday and Sunday, and called on universities to step up their handling of requests from students to leave campus.

Hangzhou city in eastern Zhejiang province also detected two local asymptomatic infections on November 25, according to NHC data.

As of Nov. 25, mainland China had reported 98,583 confirmed cases with symptoms, including local cases and those from overseas. The total death toll remained unchanged at 4,636.

(Reporting by Roxanne liu, Brenda Goh and Stella Qiu; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Michael Perry)

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