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Hainan, China, launches widespread Covid testing and increases lockdowns.

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r25IQAEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADwYnLMAAHBW+XqAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC Hainan, China, launches widespread Covid testing and increases lockdowns.

In an effort to contain many Omicron-driven outbreaks, notably the worst in the province’s capital Sanya, sometimes referred to as “China’s Hawaii,” the southern island province of Hainan, home to over 10 million people, began mass Covid-19 testing on Sunday.

Since August 1 until Sunday midday, there have been more than 1100 instances reported in the province, which is an island in the South China Sea.

On Sunday, all flights out of Sanya were cancelled, trapping thousands of tourists in the city and fewer in other beach towns.

Lockdowns or “static management” have been announced in at least 10 cities and regions. Thousands of visitors have been transported back to their hotels in Sanya from the airport, where they must now stay for a minimum of one week while paying their own money for lodging and meals.

According to the Global Times article, the virus strain has been identified as the Omicron BA5.1.3 variation, a mutated version that has been reported for the first time in the nation.

The latest difficulty for the Chinese government to balance its tight “zero Covid” or “dynamic clearance” policy with economic growth is the quickly increasing outbreak in Hainan. Given China’s tight Covid restrictions, the shutdown is likely to have a significant negative impact on internal tourism, which had just lately begun to increase.

According to local media reports, the administration is attempting to negotiate discounted pricing for the stranded tourists.

More than a million locals as well as visitors are being compelled to take tests daily in Sanya, which has reported 971 confirmed cases. At least three more municipalities, including Wanning, Danzhou, and Lingshui, have also declared lockdowns that will start on Sunday and require locals to stay indoors and forgo using public transportation.

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