Urumqi reported 17 local injuries on Sunday, which means that 47 cases have been identified since last Wednesday. Before that, not a single case had been reported in nearly five months, according to the Xinjiang Health Authorities.
Since last week, Urumqi has also reported 50 cases without symptoms. In China, these are not considered confirmed cases under government guidelines.
To stop the upsurge, the authorities are now implementing the so-called Beijing model.
But in Beijing, public transportation was not closed, and neighborhoods near high-risk communities were only put under complete closure. Urumqi’s procedures are tougher – a sign of how serious the Chinese authorities are in re-emerging the virus.
The Xinjiang government announced on Saturday that Urumqi entered “wartime” mode, banning all public gatherings and encouraging residents to stay in the city. Those who must first leave have a negative coronavirus test.
Authorities also run citywide tests, starting with neighborhoods and groups that are considered at high risk of contracting the virus.
More than 1,600 health care workers in Urumqi were mobilized to take the tests, and an additional 200 medical workers from 10 provinces and cities were dispatched to help.
The city’s market regulatory authorities also searched 75 food markets, 237 supermarkets and 638 restaurants, where all employees and products were negative.
As of Sunday morning, Urumqi had tested everyone under medical observation at the hospital and in self-isolation at home, He was still tracking the source of the rise in cases. As of Monday, more than 3,000 people were under medical observation.
Prior to the recent outbreak, Xinjiang had swept the first wave of the coronavirus with only 76 cases, including three deaths, partly due to strict closures in February and March.
Restrictions on freedom of movement are not new to the region. In recent years, Xinjiang has been subjected to increased police surveillance amid a security crackdown against 11 million Uyghurs.
Last week, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on a number of Chinese officials, including Chen Quanguo, secretary of the Communist Party of Xinjiang, for their involvement in human rights violations targeting ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang.
Beijing responded by announcing sanctions against US officials, including Senator Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, calling on the United States to “stop interfering in China’s international affairs.”