China Inches Back Toward Lockdowns As Mysterious Viral Outbreak Surges

(Photo by Jade Gao / AFP) (Photo by JADE GAO/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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China is apparently headed back towards lockdowns in late November as hospitals fill with children suffering from a surge in acute respiratory viruses.

The Chinese National Health Commission claims the new surge is caused by a variety of illnesses, such as influenza, rhinovirus, mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus and adenovirus, according to the South China Morning Post. Officials are calling for a reinstatement of pandemic-era lockdown protocols to help curb the outbreak, even though these measures didn’t really do anything the first time around.

Schools, childcare facilities and nursing homes are being called to close, SCMP noted. And people are being told to “minimize personal movement and visits” as the outbreak continues. Many people are comparing the situation to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but apparently it’s not quite the same.

“We asked about comparisons prior to the pandemic. And the waves that they’re seeing now, the peak is not as high as what they saw in 2018-2019,” the World Health Organization’s acting director of its department of epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention Maria Van Kerkhove told STAT on Friday. “This is not an indication of a novel pathogen. This is expected. This is what most countries dealt with a year or two ago.” (RELATED: REPORT: Strange New Virus With High Fatality Rate In China Has Infected 35 People)

WHO has called upon China to release more information about the outbreak. As yet, it’s unclear whether the communist-run nation has provided this information, as they did not provide much of the requested information during the COVID-19 pandemic either. Footage from the country has shown long lines outside hospitals as authorities call for the opening of more clinics.