BEIJING (AP) — Another 259 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan, where some 80,000 tourists have been stranded by pandemic restrictions.
Authorities declared Hainan’s beach resort city Sanya a COVID-19 hot spot Saturday and imposed a lockdown, confining Chinese citizens and expatriates to their hotels on what they had hoped would be a holiday from tight restrictions around much of China. Tourists wanting to depart Sanya have to test negative for the coronavirus on five PCR tests over seven days.
Overall, China on Monday reported 324 new locally transmitted cases, along with 483 asymptomatic cases, which China classifies separately.
China has stuck steadfastly to a “zero-COVID” policy, despite the economic and social costs. It has credited that approach with keeping hospitalization and death rates lower than in other countries that have opened up amid high vaccination rates, more effective treatments and the emergence of the more contagious but less lethal strain of the virus.