China to build massive “international health station” quarantine complex

The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is planning to build a 250,000-sq-m quarantine complex able to accommodate up to 5,000 travellers entering from countries affected by the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus

The announcement was made on Friday by Zhong Nanshan, one of the country’s top epidemiologists, reports The South China Morning Post. 

He said the "international health station" would serve as a quarantine hotel with 5,000 independent rooms, and would take the overflow from the city’s existing hotels, many of which do not meet China’s strict quarantine standards.

He added that Guangzhou receives between 80% and 90% of China’s international visitors, making it the most dangerous city in the country for Covid infection.

Since 21 May, 167 cases have been reported in Guangzhou and the Delta variant caused seven infections. Models produced by the Guangzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention predict that cases in Guangzhou could reach 7.3 million in 20 to 30 days if no control measures were taken, but that this could be reduced to 171 with effective prevention.

He said: "In the long term, Guangzhou and Shenzhen must build these kinds of facilities. Otherwise when there are lots of cases in the future and we have to quarantine them in hotels, it will affect the economy and we cannot isolate them in a real sense."

So far, no cases of the Delta variant have been found outside Guangdong, and other provinces have asked the authorities there to reduce the number of travellers, and some have required people travelling from the area to produce a negative test result.

The South China Morning Post comments that China has pursued a zero-tolerance strategy towards coronavirus cases, and has expanded its definition of who is at risk of infection.

Image: The quarantine complex is aimed at international passengers from countries hit by the delta variant (Dreamstime)

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