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China locks down Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai

China locks down Shanghai Disneyland and tests 34,000 visitors after single Covid case

As fireworks lit up the sky over Shanghai Disney Resort on Sunday, chatter began to spread through the crowds. Qian, a young Chinese woman who’d decided to spend her Halloween at the theme park, saw a Weibo alert from Disney saying the park had closed and rides had stopped. No more guests could enter Disneyland – those already inside, all 34,000 of them, would have to be tested and isolate.

The news filtered through the throngs of parkgoers but, as Qian described, caused no panic, despite the worsening outbreak of Delta across 16 Chinese provinces.

“The tourists around me started discussing this matter, but they all finished watching the first fireworks in peace,” she posted on Weibo.

As they moved towards the exit, the crowd learned no one could leave until all were tested. They were ushered along outdoor trestle tables staffed by PPE-wearing healthworkers for testing, as the second evening fireworks show blasted in the background. The gates were closed and the rail lines shut down.

“I never thought that the longest queue in Disneyland would be for a nucleic acid test,” another visitor wryly noted on social media.

Late in the night more than 200 buses took people home for two days of self-isolation and further testing. Another 100,000 people who visited the park on the weekend will also be tested.

The surreal scenes were prompted by the discovery of one case, a Saturday visitor Shanghai who was later found to be positive. Reports were conflicted on whether she had even gone to Disneyland. Disney’s initial alert had only attributed the closure to a need to “cooperate with the pandemic investigation in other provinces and cities”.

Regardless, the park and Disneytown – its retail hub – shut until Wednesday.

On Monday, China reported another 54 cases in a stubborn outbreak of Delta which, while dwarfed by numbers around the world, is threatening China’s commitment to remaining free from Covid.

So far about 500 people have been diagnosed across at least 16 provinces, initially centred around Inner Mongolia but now mostly in Heilongjiang. Throughout the pandemic authorities have responded swiftly and strongly to outbreaks, with sudden lockdowns, transport restrictions and mass testing drives. But the high transmissibility of the Delta variant has seen a rise in more creative attempts to curb its spread.

Communities are largely complying – in Heilongjiang an official bragged of the 35,000 people who rushed to the testing stations, queueing under umbrellas. But tolerance is beginning to wane, especially when it involves so few cases.

In Jiangxi authorities turned all traffic lights red to halt movement after a single case was identified – its first in almost two years. The move was reversed after public outcry. In Beijing some residents complained of glitchy health apps recording their location in the wrong place, and leaving them stranded. On Monday Beijing’s health commission asked people to avoid leaving or returning if possible.

In Ruili, a small town on the border between China’s Yunnan and Myanmar, repeated lockdowns and waves of outbreaks have driven people away. Local media reported that one baby in the city who had been tested 74 times since September.

In late October, someone who claimed to be a Ruili student posted on Weibo that he and his family were unable to return home. Local officials told Chinese media that since 2020 the number of residents had reduced from half a million to 200,000. “Impacted by the epidemic for a long time, many people found life hard to cope with,” one said. The mayor has made an extraordinary plea for help from Beijing.

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are among the last global jurisdictions still clinging to elimination strategies for the virus. For all three it involves the continuation of strict border closures and quarantine systems.

Some have begun to question the sustainability of the strategy, as the rest of the world begins reopening and accepting life with the virus, mitigated by high rates of vaccination and less intrusive health measures. Others note that the strategy has worked – all three places are largely Covid free, having seen few of the world’s five million recorded deaths.

In Shanghai, Qian praised the response at Disneyland.

“One can really believe in Shanghai for ever. The response speed and the measures to deal with the epidemic are really fast and reasonable,” she said. “This Halloween will be unforgettable, a happy, beautiful, and wonderful journey with no dangers. I hope the epidemic gets better soon and everyone is safe and sound.”

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Health

F.G Approves Establishment Of Teaching Hospital In Taraba

The establishment of a Federal teaching hospital in Taraba State has been approved by the Federal Government.

Approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the teaching hospital is to be sited at the federal university in Wukari Local Government Area of the State.

In a letter dated 26th of September 2022, the President gave the nod to the leadership of the institution to go ahead with the establishment of the health institution.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the Director of Health, Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Noah Andrew, urged the leadership of the university to make sure that all the needed facilities are in place.

“I am directed to refer to a letter dated 2nd September 2022 referenced SGF 6/T/380 from the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to inform you that His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the establishment of a federal teaching hospital for the federal University, Wukari, Taraba State”, the letter read in part.

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Health

Kaduna Enrolls 136,507 Into Health Scheme

The Kaduna state government has disclosed that it has enrolled about 136,507 poor and vulnerable population into the Kaduna State health insurance scheme.

Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), Mr Suleiman Mustapha, disclosed this in Kaduna, during a one-day Roundtable Dialogue on maternal and child health.

The Maternal and Child Health-Civil Society (MCH-CS) Partnership with support from Save the Children International organised the round table.

Mustapha said 79,329 poor and vulnerable populations were enroled for free basic health under the one per cent consolidated revenue of the state government.

According to him, the state government had so far released N1.1 billion to cover the basic health care services of the poor and vulnerable.

He also said an additional 50,648 poor and vulnerable population were enroled under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, adding that a total of N1.1 billion had also been contributed to cover their healthcare.

KADCHMA Executive Secretary , Mr Abubakar Hassan, said the agency was established in February 2018 and began provision of health services in June 2020.

According to him, the health scheme is part of the state’s human capital development and social protection strategy for all residents.

 

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Health

55,000 Die Of Rabies Annually In Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency For International Development USAID has disclosed that at least 55, 000 Nigerians die of rabies every year.

It said rabid dogs account for about 94 percent of confirmed human infections.

This was revealed by Mieko Mckay, Deputy Office Director for Health, USAID Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday during the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in Nigeria.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal of Health and Breakthrough ACTION -Nigeria and other partners ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day.

Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, represented by his deputy, Alexander Chimbaru, said there were recent cases in Gombe and Enugu States.

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