TAIPEI, Taiwan – Fireworks have exploded as visitors to Shanghai Disneyland awaited COVID-19 test results, surrounded by health workers dressed from head to toe in white protective suits.
Shanghai Disneyland suddenly announced Sunday night that it was no longer accepting new visitors and was cooperating in an epidemiological investigation of another province. The park was closed as Shanghai city health officials and police rushed to conduct a mass test of visitors already inside.
Shanghai Disneyland and Disneytown will remain closed Monday and Tuesday “in order to meet pandemic prevention and control requirements,” Shanghai Disney Resort said on its website on Monday.
The sudden lockdown and temporary closure of the park underscored how serious China is in implementing its zero-tolerance pandemic prevention strategy.
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Globally, many countries have turned to life with the virus, whether by choice or necessity, although as viral outbreaks come and go, many face strained health systems. and additional deaths.
In China, which has kept its borders closed since March 2020, the response has been to cut the chain of transmission of the virus as quickly as possible. With a strict on-arrival quarantine policy, authorities have sought to eradicate every local outbreak to zero – helping China maintain its reported totals at 4,636 deaths and 97,243 cases since the start of the pandemic.
The case that may have motivated Disneyland’s actions involved a person whose illness was discovered in nearby Hangzhou and visited the theme park on Saturday, local media reported.
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For hours on Sunday evening, tens of thousands of families and visitors were stranded in the park awaiting a negative test result that would allow them to leave.
The city announced Monday morning that all 33,863 people who visited the park over the weekend tested negative for COVID-19. They will be asked to get tested again and their health will be monitored.
A Disney fan, who gave Chen her last name, said she was inside the park when she heard an announcement at 5 p.m. that everyone needed to get tested.
âNo one complained and everyone was very well behaved,â Chen said. She said she holds an annual pass and visits the park at least once a month. She is waiting in a hotel for her second COVID-19 test before she can return to Beijing.
Shanghai Disneyland is just the latest example of how far Chinese authorities will go to stop the spread of the virus.
Beijing rail officials last Thursday asked Jinan health officials to stop a train traveling from Shanghai to Beijing because a passenger was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Jinan health officials then sent health workers, transport workers, and police officers to rush to the station to quarantine the passengers and disinfect the train. They sent 212 people to central quarantine, including close contact.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Shanghai Disneyland temporarily closed after mass testing for COVID-19