Shanghai Disneyland temporarily shuts down after COVID-19 testing of 34000 visitors

Published on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Shanghai Disneyland was temporarily shut down after a visitor was found to be Covid-19-positive, underscoring the economic disruption businesses in China face as the country strives to stamp out infections.

On Monday, Shanghai Disneyland was closed over a single coronavirus case, as Chinese authorities pressed ahead with their zero-infection strategy ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, China had reduced most domestic cases; however, the recent spike in the coronavirus cases has tested Beijing’s determination to eliminate COVID-19 as much of the rest of the world opens up.

There were 92 new cases reported Monday — the highest since mid-September. Shanghai Disneyland closed after a woman who visited the park tested positive after returning home to a neighbouring province, state media said.

Disneyland said it would be remain shut for at least Monday and Tuesday “to follow the requirement(s) of pandemic prevention and control”. The reopening date was yet to be confirmed, it added.

As the security was amped up, owing to the growing concern over coronavirus cases, the park began barring new visitors from entering on Sunday, with everyone in the park required to take a Covid-19 test before leaving. The city government said nearly 34,000 people had been tested by Monday morning.

All tests came back negative, it said, but added that those affected must stay away from work or school for at least two days and undergo further testing. The state media footage showed scores of health workers in hazmat suits inside Disneyland, as masked visitors waited underneath fireworks at the park’s landmark castle.

The closure comes after Beijing’s newly opened Universal Studios said Saturday that close contacts of infected people had been found among the previous weekend’s visitors. All staff at the theme park — which entered a “state of emergency prevention” on Friday — have tested negative and no trace of the virus had been detected on the site, the park added.

So far, Chinese authorities have shown no sign of relenting on their strict zero-Covid policy ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Beijing is due to host the Winter Olympics in under 100 days, and authorities have said eradicating the virus is their biggest challenge in the run-up.

About six million people are under lockdown orders, mostly in northern parts of China, to contain the further spread of the virus.

Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, said at a press conference Saturday that authorities would continue to strictly prohibit people in locked-down communities from leaving their homes.

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