Chinese authorities in the city of Dandong have asked people to close their windows to keep themselves safe from Covid “blowing in from North Korea” according to a report from Vice. The city of Dandong borders North Korea and is separated by a river that runs hundreds of meters wide.
The city has not seen many Covid infections in the past, but has recently seen a surge which has prompted stricter pandemic measures. Local government officials have not been able to pinpoint the reason for the uptick in cases and thus have told citizens living alongside the Yalu river to keep their windows shut.
The notion that COVID-19 can cross vast distances by air however has puzzled public health officials. Speaking to ViceProfessor Leo Poon, a public health expert at the University of Hong Kong said “I've never heard of this happening before, where COVID-19 particles travel such great distances,”. Another official, Toshikazu Abe, the director of emergency care at Tsukuba Memorial Hospital, also speaking to the publication said “COVID-19 traveling within a large gymnasium, maybe, but for it to cross villages? I don't think so,”
Since the Coronavirus outbreak China has been known to follow a zero COVID strategy, which is a signature policy of President Xi Jinping.
Chinese authorities have recently doubled down on the strategy, saying it is saving lives and have threatened action against critics suggesting an exit plan was not imminent.
The Chinese government is on track to spend more than $52 billion this year on testing, new medical facilities, monitoring equipment and other anti-COVID measures, which will benefit as many as 3,000 companies, analysts say.