Quarantines, obligatory testing and travel restrictions have become the new normal for those even remotely caught up in outbreaks. The country’s vaccination rate is among the world’s highest and authorities have begun administering booster shots as winter descends.
While those measures have met little open resistance, the recent killing of a quarantined person’s pet dog by health workers brought a wave of complaints online. The incident in the central city of Shangrao prompted local authorities to issue a statement saying the pet owner and health workers had “reached an understanding.”
Following the incident, the China Small Animal Protection Association called for a quarantine system to care for pets caught in such situations.
“Pets are people’s spiritual partners and should not be harmed under the pretext of fighting the pandemic,” it said in a statement. “If you bring the hand of doom down on an innocent life without the slightest ability to defend itself, then how can you even talk about humanitarianism?”
Among other new measures, Beijing starting Wednesday will require all people arriving from other parts of the country by plane, train, bus or car to produce a negative virus test taken over the previous 48 hours.
Despite isolated cases in various parts of the country, China has been able to suppress major outbreaks over the past year, with its total number of reported cases standing at 98,315 with 4,636 deaths.
On Monday, the National Health Commission announced 32 new cases of local transmission over the previous 24 hours, 25 of them in Dalian.