Fireworks boomed as the visitors at Shanghai Disneyland waited for their COVID-19 test results, surrounded by healthcare workers dressed from head to toe in the white protective suits.
Shanghai Disneyland suddenly announced Sunday evening that they were no longer accepting any visitors and that they were cooperating with an epidemiological investigation from another province.
They then locked down the park, as Shanghai city healthcare workers and police rushed to the scene to conduct mass testing. The park is shut for Monday and Tuesday as they continue to cooperate with the pandemic prevention efforts, Shanghai Disneyland said in a notice on Monday.
The park’s sudden lockdown and temporary closure underscored just how serious China is about enforcing its zero-tolerance pandemic prevention strategy. Globally, many countries have turned to live with the virus, whether out of choice or necessity, although as virus surges come and go, many face overburdened healthcare systems and excess deaths.
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In China, which has kept its borders sealed since March last year, the policy response has been to cut the chain of transmission of the virus as quickly as possible. With a strict quarantine on arrival policy, the authorities have aimed to get to zero locally transmitted cases in each outbreak they face.
One individual who tested positive for COVID-19, discovered by authorities in the nearby city of Hangzhou, had visited Disneyland on Saturday, local media reported. For hours on Sunday night, tens of thousands of families and visitors were stuck in the theme park, as they waited for a negative test result that would allow them to leave.
The city announced this morning that all 33,863 people who had been at the park over the weekend had tested negative for COVID-19. They will be asked to get tested again for the next two weeks and monitor themselves for health reasons.