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Harbin suspends dine-in again amid signs of rebounding COVID-19

Global Times

By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/2 20:44:17

Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, has banned dine-in services at barbeque, hot pot and stew dish restaurants again starting Saturday after earlier easement, amid clustered infections in the city that have made the COVID-19 control situation tense.

The announcement was made by the local government's COVID-19 control work command office. The restaurants can still offer takeaways until further notice.

The city banned dine-ins as almost all Chinese cities have since the outbreak, but lifted the ban district by district from late March when the domestic COVID-19 situation was brought under control.

The city in mid-April reported a lengthy infection chain that involved more than 80 cases in and out of the province due to clustered infections at two local hospitals. But there were no new cases on the chain reported since Monday.

Some self-claimed residents said the move was "tossing and turning," and merely a gesture after the city was criticized for failing to curb the coronavirus than of real use. "Dine-ins should be suspended when the clustered infections were detected, not two weeks later when there are few or no new infections," one net user said on Toutiao News.

Heilongjiang was criticized at a State Council press conference on COVID-19 control and prevention on Friday for failing to curb the coronavirus.

Cities of Harbin and Mudanjiang have reported cluster infections related to imported cases since April. The lengthy infection chain and hospital cross-infections had threatened the hard-worn domestic epidemic control fruits, according to the conference.

As of midnight Friday, Heilongjiang had 74 domestic infections – 63 in Harbin and 10 in Mudanjiang. Among 27 asymptomatic carriers, 17 are in Harbin and eight in Mudanjiang.

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