China has reinstated a strict blockade near Beijing, which has affected about 400,000 people after a small increase in cases.
The restrictions took effect in Anxin County in Hebei Province, near the capital.
After the pandemic in China at the end of last year, the country managed to get new infections at a constantly low level.
To avoid a second wave, even small increases are taken very seriously by the health authorities in the country.
What’s going on in Hebei?
Officials announced on Sunday that Anxin would be “completely closed and controlled.”
Only essential workers are allowed to leave their homes, while a member of the household is allowed to go out once a day to shop.
No non-resident residents will be allowed to enter buildings, communities or villages. Authorities have warned anyone violating the rules will be punished by the police.
Anxin is about 150 km (90 miles) south of Beijing. The Chinese press says that there have been 18 cases in the county since the beginning of the recent incident in Beijing two weeks ago.
The area is not nearly as densely populated as China’s major urban centres, and local health experts say they are optimistic that the spread could be stopped.
What is the situation in Beijing?
China’s recent numbers remain the envy of most other countries hit by the virus. However, recent developments in Beijing have led authorities to fear a possible second wave.
Over the past 24 hours, Beijing has reported 14 new cases of the virus, bringing the total from the mid-June outbreak to 311.
Although this is a small number compared to the thousands of daily cases in the US or South America, China has reacted quickly to contain any spread.
Several neighbourhoods in Beijing have been restricted, travel has been limited and a massive wave of fresh tests has been drawn.
Before the last impulse, the Chinese capital had passed 57 days without a case transmitted locally.
Media subtitles Are China more daring after the pandemic?
How is the rest of China dealing with the virus?
Overall, China has “successfully flattened the curve” in recent months.
After exceeding 80,000 confirmed cases in early March, it has added only about 4,700 since then.
Since mid-June, new infections have been largely limited to Beijing, with some spreading to neighbouring Hebei.
The rest of China has noticed only a small trick of single-digit infections, most of which are imported cases, which means travellers returning from abroad.