Business course

Cluster outbreak leaves over 80,000 tourists stranded in Chinese city of Sanya

The recent COVID-19 outbreak in the southern Chinese city of Sanya has disrupted vacation plans for thousands of people as the city steps up its COVID-19 control measures.

The city in the southern province of Hainan reported 107 new infections since noon Thursday, according to CCTV.

South China’s Hainan Province reported 262 new cases on Friday, including 229 confirmed cases in Sanya, according to the local health commission. A total of 646 new infections were reported from midday Monday through Saturday, the Global Times reported.

Sanya reported 129 positive cases as of midday Saturday. From Monday to 12 p.m. Saturday, the city reported 558 cases.

The “Hawaii of China” announced the activation of temporary static management from Saturday morning to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The province, which has more than 10 million people, has about 80,000 stranded tourists, the majority of whom are in low-risk Sanya and Yalong bays, according to He Shigang, the city’s deputy mayor.

Officials say the virus strain has been identified as the Omicron BA5.1.3 variant, which was first reported nationally with hidden and strong transmission, the Global Times reported.

The central fishing port of Yazhou district was the source of the outbreak from Monday, which was likely imported through trade with foreign fishermen, according to local authorities.

Faced with 80,000 tourists stranded under static management due to the recent outbreak, railway authorities have banned all ticket sales in Sanya, and residents cannot leave Sanya by train.

Airline ticket prices from Sanya have skyrocketed. For flights from Sanya to Shanghai, economy class tickets sell for around 3,000 yuan (443 USD), while business class costs around 15,000 USD.

All flights out of Sanya are to be canceled on Saturday, and some flights to Sanya were turned around en route, according to Passengers stranded at Sanya airport will be transferred to hotels in the city for follow-up arrangements, Global Times reported.

Data from information provider VariFlight showed that Sanya Phoenix International Airport canceled the majority, or 164, of flights on Saturday morning.

Sanya is China’s third tourist hub to have its peak season disrupted by epidemics this year.

The city of Beihai in southern Guangxi shut down last month to curb an outbreak. It is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the region, but the outbreak has left more than 2,000 tourists stranded in Beihai town due to an outbreak of coronavirus that has hit the resort.

Since the cluster outbreak in Sanya has already spread to Hainan Province, other cities and regions in the province have also announced measures to curb the spread of the virus. Some districts in Danzhou City and Lingshui Li Autonomous County went into static management on Saturday, while Qionghai City suspended business activities at indoor venues from Saturday.

Hainan on Saturday announced the launch of province-wide nucleic acid testing as the epidemic spread further across the island.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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