While thousands of visitors to Shanghai Disneyland on Sunday were queuing for roller coasters and watching fireworks above the fairytale castle, staff quietly sealed the amusement park. People in Hazmat suits streamed in through the gates, preparing to test everyone for Covid-19 before they could leave for the day.
Nearly 34,000 people at Disneyland underwent testing, which ended close to midnight, long after the festivities at the park are usually finished. Ferried home on 220 special buses, all were found Monday to be negative but are still required to isolate at home for two days, and be re-tested for the coronavirus in two weeks.
The shutdown of one of Walt Disney Co.’s most lucrative parks came after a positive case in a woman who traveled to Shanghai from nearby Hangzhou over the weekend. While officials are yet to confirm whether she visited Disneyland, her infection sparked an aggressive contact tracing effort across China, which eventually ensnared the park-goers, their families and Disneyland staff.
To people in parts of the world where Covid is already endemic, the reaction may seem extreme, but it’s emblematic of China’s increasingly hardcore approach to keeping the pathogen out at any cost.
Since containing its initial outbreak in Wuhan last April, China has sought to not just quell the virus but eliminate it. To do that it’s deployed a raft of measures from border curbs and compulsory quarantines, to localized lockdowns and mass testing, aimed at hunting out cases before an outbreak takes root — and quashing them. It was a strategy used successfully in other parts of the Asia-Pacific region, from Singapore and Taiwan to Australia and New Zealand, before the delta variant made it almost impossible to execute.
China and its territory Hong Kong are now the last real Covid Zero proponents left as other places look to open their borders and live with the virus. But instead of slowly easing toward reopening, too, China is doubling down, even as waves of the more contagious delta come more frequently and with the current resurgence — totaling some 480 cases — spreading to more than half of the country’s provinces.
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Has Been Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
This follows his transfer to a medical facility in December
The new comes from a letter he wrote:
French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’
French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage
Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination.
“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response.
His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president.
“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”
She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC.
But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.”
Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported.
Boston Mayor Wu Relentlessly Heckled As New COVID-19 Restrictions Are Announced
Boston unveils the ‘Be Together’ initiative, requiring full vaccination for entry to restaurants, gyms, and sports arenas for anyone 12 and older. In March the mandate will phase-in for younger children.