Published: 14:23, May 4, 2020 | Updated: 03:17, June 6, 2023
Heilongjiang cities impose hotpot, BBQ ban to control outbreak
By Zhao Ruixue

Two cities in Heilongjiang province hit by clusters of imported COVID-19 cases suspended dining at hotpot and barbecue eateries over the weekend.

Mudanjiang began the suspension of dine-in services at the restaurants on Sunday. The provincial capital, Harbin, introduced suspensions on Saturday, according to a notice from the city's COVID-19 epidemic control leading team.

The date for resumption of dine-in services depends on how well the epidemic is controlled in the two cities.

Mudanjiang and Harbin, hit by clusters of imported COVID-19 cases, introduced suspension of dine-in services at hotpot and barbecue eateries over the weekend

All other eateries in the two cities have been ordered to strictly conduct prevention and control measures, including limiting the number of diners, sterilizing the premises every day and ensuring indoor rooms have good air flow.

Malls, supermarkets and agricultural markets in the province should take the temperature of all customers and ensure they wear masks. Special staff should also be engaged to keep customers at safe distances from each other.

Since April, imported coronavirus infections cases have surged in Harbin and Mudanjiang.

The COVID-19 clusters have hit several hospitals and infected medical staff.

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This has caused a negative social impact and there is now pressure to consolidate the achievements made in fighting the virus, according to a release from the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council on Thursday.

Local authorities in Heilongjiang were urged to close loopholes, strengthen weak areas and step up prevention measures in hospitals, while sparing no efforts in medical treatment.

A special group was sent to Heilongjiang on Friday to spur and guide the province to refine and reinforce containment measures, the release said.

Zhang Qingwei, Party secretary of Heilongjiang, who is also the head of the province's leading group responding to COVID-19, stressed the importance of enhancing targeted measures to contain the risk of imported cases.

On Saturday he inspected epidemic prevention and control work under way at the Harbin West Railway Station, Harbin Customs and the Heilongjiang Provincial General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection.

READ MORE: Harbin officials urged to take control of epidemic

Wang Wentao, governor of the province, said during a video conference on Friday that Heilongjiang officials should critically examine themselves about the lack of awareness of epidemic control and prevention, that had resulted in cluster cases.

Normal containment measures should continue across the province to guard against imported cases and prevent a rebound in indigenous cases, Wang said.

Heilongjiang reported no new cases on Saturday. The province has 250 imported cases and 61 indigenous cases.