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Concerns are mounting that a corona outbreak in the Chinese port city of Ningbo could lead to new logistics congestion. Maersk noted in an update that three out of five Ningbo’s container terminals border the Beilun district, the part of the city where 23 people have tested positive for the coronavirus at a clothing manufacturer.
All alarm bells have gone off in China, which has a zero-tolerance policy against Covid-19. Maersk reports that although containers are still being loaded and unloaded at the three Beilun container terminals, other restrictions have already been imposed in the port area.
Empty depots locked
The Danish container shipping company lists three empty depots in the port that have already been completely closed. One of the warehouses in the port, Ningbo Bluedragon LongXing, has also had to completely cease its activities, while the number of entrances and exits from the terminals is also limited. Restrictions also apply to truck traffic to and from the port.
Maersk emphasizes that no corona cases have yet been detected in the port itself. Once that is the case, much more drastic measures could follow. Last summer, an entire container terminal in Ningbo was shut down because one dockworker tested positive. Of the 23 infected residents of Ningbo, 19 had mild symptoms, and four became somewhat sicker.
The current state of affairs in Xi’an, a city in the centre of China with thirteen million inhabitants, proves that the Chinese zero-tolerance policy is still in full force. Due to a larger outbreak with more than 1,600 infections, that city has been in total lockdown for two weeks, with residents forced to stay indoors. Even grocery shopping has been curtailed, so stories of food and medicine shortages are now starting to spread in Xi’an.
The Chinese metropolis of Yuzhou also went into lockdown in the night from Monday to Tuesday. The measure was introduced after three city residents had tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days. Yuzhou has about 1.2 million inhabitants. People have to stay at home, bus and taxi services are blocked, and shopping centres and museums are closed. Authorities are stepping up security in the city to enforce the measures.
China has a strict corona policy. Authorities are trying to fight outbreaks with local lockdowns and, for example, the mass testing of city residents. Last month, the metropolis of Xi’an went into lockdown. Here some residents are now struggling with food shortages. As a result, according to reports on social media, a barter trade in foodstuffs started.
China currently has an extra interest in combating virus outbreaks. The country is preparing for the Winter Olympics, starting next month in Beijing’s capital.
This article first appeared on www.railfreight.com
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