A city in China offers $77 reward for residents to report neighbours who skip covid test
London, Jan. 9, 2021 (AltAfrica)-A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test.
The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and the surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control China’s most serious recent outbreak of infections.
The offering of rewards for information on political or social nonconformists has a long history in China.
China has largely controlled local transmission of the virus through the use of measures considered by some to be extreme and highly intrusive, including lockdowns of entire cities, close electronic monitoring of people’s movements and bans on traveling to and from parts of the country.
China has placed 11 million people in the northern city of Shijiazhuang under lockdown after more than 100 new Covid cases were confirmed there.
Residents are banned from leaving the city and schools have also been closed.
More than 5,000 testing sites have been set up so every resident can be tested.
The new figures are the highest China has seen in more than five months. The country has been able to contain such outbreaks by immediately taking tough action.
This has involved consistently using mass testing when new clusters of cases appear, even if they seem relatively small.
Hebei province, where Shijiazhuang is located, reported 120 new cases on Thursday and all but one of those infections was in the city. Elsewhere in the country, 22 new cases were confirmed.
The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 before spiralling into a global pandemic.
Thursday’s lockdown comes just weeks ahead of Chinese New Year, a time when people in China travel en masse to spend the holiday with their families.