China’s Inner Mongolia quarantines tourists over virus fears


Service sector workers wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus line up for COVID-19 test during a mass testing at a site baring the words “You and me on the road of civilization” in Beijing, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, following a spike of the coronavirus in the capital and other provincials. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING (AP) — More than 2,000 tourists visiting China’s Inner Mongolia region have been sent to hotels to undergo two weeks of quarantine following the detection of new cases of COVID-19 in the area.

The move follows reports of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the vast, lightly populated region that attracts visitors with its mountains, lakes and grasslands.

An announcement from the regional government on Friday said 2,428 visitors had been placed under observation at hotels in the cities of Baotou and Ordos.

That came after successive reports of new cases of local infection in the region, with Inner Mongolia accounting for 19 of the 48 new cases of domestic transmission announced Friday.

The quarantines are typical of the strict measures China has taken to control the pandemic, which also include mask wearing, electronic case tracing, mass testing, lockdowns and vaccinations.

In the city of Lanzhou, in Gansu province bordering Inner Mongolia, millions of people have been largely confined to their homes over the past week after cases were detected there. Ten new cases were reported in the city on Friday.

China has reported 4,636 deaths among 91,665 cases of COVID-19 recorded in the country since the first infections were detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.

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