Millions of Chinese face bans on public spaces, including schools, hospitals and shopping malls, unless they receive a vaccine against COVID-19, according to new edicts covering nearly two dozen cities and counties.
The coronavirus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, but since then the country has largely controlled it, and Beijing is determined to keep it that way.
The difficult new rules, which follow the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant across Asia, will be imposed on numerous second-tier cities on a possible marker of what will come for the entire country.
China has a national target of inoculating 64% of its population of 1.4 billion by the end of the year and new measures suggest high levels of coercion.
In the city of Chuxiong, in the southern province of Yunnan, where about 510,000 people live, all residents over the age of 18 need to receive at least one dose of the vaccine before July 23, according to a government notice released Wednesday afternoon. .
Those who fail to meet the deadline “will not be able to access public facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, kindergartens and schools, libraries, museums and prisons, or take public transportation,” the notice said.
A month later, it will be necessary to enter two shots public buildings.
Similar warnings were issued by authorities in at least a dozen cities and counties across the country, including six in eastern Jiangxi province, one in Sichuan, one in Gaungxi and three in Fujian province.
Many say they want to inoculate between 70 and 80 percent of the local population in September, surpassing the national target.
Tianhe County in central Henan Province threatened to stop paying wages and lay off any state employee who was not inoculated before July 20, according to a statement released Monday.
At least a dozen places have been set aside for volunteers in government buildings, train stations and others busy public spaces to write down the names and contact information of those who are not vaccinated.
It is unclear whether this information is shared with the local pandemic prevention working group.
The move has sparked an online reaction.
“At first, (the government) said the vaccination was voluntary, now you’re forcing us!” wrote an angry Weibo user, similar to China’s Twitter.
“I just received my second dose, but this new policy seems like a royal decree: disappointed and disgusting!” another complained.
China’s success in crushing the coronavirus outbreak – in addition to concerns about vaccine safety – led to low adoption when the country’s vaccination campaign began last year, and officials have used a series of incentives to increase the amount of inoculations.
As of Tuesday, China had administered more than 1.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the National Health Commission said, without specifying the number of people vaccinated.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: China threatens to ban unvaccinated adults from schools and hospitals (2021, July 15) recovered on July 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-china-threatens-unvaccinated-adults -schools.html
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