CHINA’S alarmed leaders have imposed a draconian style lockdown on half a million people which was last seen in coronavirus epicentre Wuhan.
The emergency measures, which affect swathes of the Hebei province some 80 miles from the capital Beijing, come as health bosses admitted the situation was “extremely severe”.
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The lockdown measures are now in place in every village, residential community and buildings in the Covid-19 striken Anxin county.
Health officials said the area will be “fully enclosed and controlled” using the same strict measures imposed at the height of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis where the pandemic originated.
Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day.
And when they do leave their homes they can buy food and medicine.
Community party officials have been ordered to patrol their neighbourhoods for anyone violating the rules and then call the police who will then swoop on suspects.
After China largely brought the coronavirus under control early this year, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province in recent weeks.
Chinese health chiefs have warned the country was at “very high risk” of a second deadly coronavirus wave after a fresh outbreak in Beijing linked to a wholesale food market.
The outbreak in Anxin is linked to one stemming at the meat, fish and vegetable wholesale market which is more than 20 times larger than the Wuhan wet market where the global Covid-19 pandemic is thought to have originated.
Police set up checkpoints and locked down 21 neighbourhoods in the capital as dozens more people tested positive – all workers or visitors at Xinfadi market.
Meanwhile, showing that the virus was still circulating widely in Europe, new clusters of cases in Leicester, which are linked to a sandwich factory, and another linked to a Swiss nightclub
But this is nowhere near the rapidly growing infection rate seen in parts of the United States, Latin America and India.
Globally, confirmed Covid-19 cases passed the 10 million mark and confirmed deaths neared half a million, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.
The US has the highest virus death toll in the world at over 125,000.
Officially, the total number of recorded Covid cases in China currently stands at 84,743, with 4,641 deaths.