The Chinese authorities did not advertise it, but the facts are established: Wednesday, April 1, the 650,000 inhabitants of the district of Jia were placed in containment. Jia is located in Henan province, north of Hubei, the region where it all started and which has been in complete blackout until the last few days. The inhabitants of Jia must now stay at home, and only essential shops are open: food, pharmacies, petrol stations and of course hospitals. In short, it's like in France. When going out, wear a mask and take your temperature. And everyone was asked to stock up on supplies. The whole district is cordoned off: prohibited from entering or leaving it. And it all happened quite discreetly, via an official online directive. Chinese power has not talked about it more than that.
This new confinement worries because it could reveal a second wave, a rebound in the epidemic. If it’s too early to come to this conclusion, we know pretty much what triggered this confinement decision, and that makes the flea. At the beginning, three medical colleagues from Jia district have been detected as asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Previously, one of these doctors had gone to assist hospitals in Hubei. The three doctors were placed in quarantine, but too late: one of these doctors had already passed Covid-19 to a 59-year-old patient. And it was then that the Chinese authorities launched the closure of the area.
This episode therefore draws the hypothesis of a second wave of contamination. The process is simple to understand: since there are many asymptomatic carriers, if not everyone is tested, each carrier can unknowingly transmit the virus. And it can start again for a ride. At least obviously as long as there is no vaccine, or as long as there is no collective immunity. But that, we are certainly far from it in China: it will be a long time before more than half of the billion 400 million Chinese people have caught the virus to develop natural immunity.
If Beijing is to be believed, the epidemic is still under control in the country. Officially, China is still at 82,000 cases and 3,300 dead. And almost no new cases, or rather only around 40 “imported” cases, in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, therefore cases linked to the arrival on Chinese soil of contaminated foreigners. This official version allows Beijing to say that the pandemic is under control, and that the rest is the fault of others. But as we know, there is a big doubt about the reality of the balance sheet. And this episode in the Jia district is causing trouble. He suggests that new native cases in China are plausible.
Let us add that at the same time, the reopening of the province of Hubeï continues. In Wuhan itself, it will be next Wednesday. Suddenly, many residents seek to flee. And it triggered last weekend clashes with the police, especially on the border with another province, that of Jiangxi, in the South.