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China locks down 3rd city due to COVID-19 surges; U.S. warns American travelers

By Megan Hadley
China locks down 3rd city due to COVID-19 surges; U.S. warns American travelers
A COVID-19 testing site is seen at a U.S.-operated hospital in Beijing, China. U.S. officials warned American citizens in China on Tuesday to be mindful of evolving Chinese COVID-19 quarantine and travel restrictions. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Chinese government has locked down another city -- this time Anyang in east-central China -- in an effort to stem the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, officials said Tuesday.

A city of about 5.5 million people, Anyang was placed under lockdown after dozens of new cases were reported last weekend. It's the third Chinese city to be locked down in recent weeks after Xian and Tianjin.

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Chinese officials have developed a policy of targeting infections early, frequent contact-tracing and long quarantine times, along with strict border control.

Officials say such swift actions mean that "a tsunami-like outbreak" is highly unlikely.

Chinese officials say that Americans in China can also be impacted by the restrictions. The U.S Embassy in Beijing recently sent an alert to U.S. citizens in the country, warning that they could be affected by future restrictions.

"Authorities are expanding prevention and control measures in certain cities and communities. These measures may include mass testing, closures, transportation disruptions, lockdowns and possible family separation," the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said in a statement Tuesday.

"Failure to follow the instructions of your local authorities may further complicate problems U.S. Citizens may encounter."

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Chinese officials say that some of the new COVID-19 cases have come from American travelers in the country, which prompted Beijing's aviation regulator to cancel dozens of flights from the United States.

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