By Jack Ainslie
China is facing a second wave of coronavirus cases as Chinese nationals return home. 108 new cases were registered on Monday.
Hopes had been growing that China was beginning to recover from the pandemic. In recent weeks restrictions, had been partially lifted in Wuhan (where the first outbreak was a recorded) for the first time since November. There had also been one day in which no new cases had been registered.
The majority of new Cases have come from people travelling into China. In most cases, the people travelling are Chinese nationals returning home. Ninety-eight of the new bundle of patients have been deemed to have imported the virus, according to the country’s National Health Commission.
An area of particular concern for the authorities is Heilongjiang Province in the north of the country. The province borders Russia with forty-nine of the new cases being Chinese nationals who have arrived in the province from their northern neighbour. This will spark fears of a major outbreak in the area, alongside wider fears of a second wave of infection.
In response to the rise in cases, authorities in the region have began to impose strict quarantine measures. The border city of Suifenhe has imposed similar measures to those used in Wuhan earlier in the year. In addition to this Suifenhe and Harbin (the capital of the province) are quarantining anyone arriving from Russia for twenty-eight days. These citizens will also be tested.
Border forces have also increased controls on the Chinese-Russian border, a move that could potentially damage China’s relationship with its closest ally. If these measures are prolonged it will result in yet more economic damage to the already embattled nation. Recent data has suggested that China will suffer its worst economic performance in sixty years.
On an international level, China represents patient zero. Governments across the world will have used China as a guinea pig in order to produce tailored virus management plans. Let us hope that other countries will use China as a lesson, lockdown must be taken seriously.