A COVID-19 epidemic has occurred in Beihai, a renowned tourist destination in Mainland China’s Guangxi region. The infection cases have surpassed 500 in six days, prompting the Tourist Area of Beihai Island to issue an emergency alert on July 17.

Islanders are not permitted to leave the island unless necessary, leaving almost 2,000 visitors stuck and causing economic losses to local tourism entrepreneurs. Many people complain helplessly, “It’s only the beginning of July. The tourist season has come to an end.” The epidemic outbreak is complicated.

According to The Paper, two Beihai officials were fired for “ineffective epidemic prevention.”

On July 18, the Twitter account @wenjun7011 tweeted a video with the caption: “July 17, Beihai, Guangxi: More than 450 people are infected with COVID-19, and over 2,000 visitors are stuck! The director of the Health and Wellness Commission has been sacked! Passengers from Weizhou Island are not permitted to leave the island and will be subjected to PCR testing.”

On July 17, Beihai officially declared that there were currently over 2,000 visitors stranded there. The area was chosen to categorize and manage tourists based on risk ratings.

According to Guangxi authorities’ statistics, as of July 17, 531 Covid cases had been found in Beihai, of which 68 were locally verified, and 463 did not show symptoms.

As a result, some wonder, “No symptoms suggest the human body already has immunity, so when will the severe testing and control end? Now I’m dispirited. Starving to death is more terrible than dying of sickness, since starving to death is forced, but dying of disease is the law of natural elimination.”

According to Sound of Hope, the closure of Weizhou, Beihai, and Guangxi islands, which have trapped over 2,000 visitors, has become the top trending topic on Weibo.

According to Xinmin Evening News, the State Council of China’s comprehensive working group on defense and control measures arrived in Beihai on July 16. It stated that the present epidemic situation in Beihai city is quite alarming. On July 14, the Beihai Tourism Bureau declared that all Grade A tourist sites in the city would be closed beginning on the 14th.

On July 17, the Weizhou Island Tourist Area in Beihai, Guangxi, issued an emergency warning, halting theaters and cultural, sports, entertainment, and scenic spots on the island and suspending offline services at training institutes. The notice added, “Stop all staff from entering and exiting the tourist area. People on the island do not leave until absolutely required. Every two days, one individual can go shopping for everyday essentials. Restaurants serving food and beverages are temporarily closed. During this period, vessels at sea are not permitted to contact other inhabitants, and residents from non-island vessels are not permitted to visit the harbor and disembark.”

Twitter user @himawarimg shared a video with the caption: “All visitors to Weizhou Island, Guangxi, were supposed to leave on the 15th. However, the aircraft was delayed until the 16th. This journey serves as a getaway.”

The unexpected lockdown of Weizhou Island harms the local tourism business and poses problems for travelers.

According to a Baidu source, Ms. Chen owns a guesthouse on Weizhou Island, where she has worked for over four years. According to her, Beihai’s peak summer tourist season typically runs from July until the end of August. Unfortunately, many clients canceled their appointments at the beginning of July owing to the storm. She just reopened on July 3, and now the epidemic has broken out. She called all who rented accommodation before Aug. 8 and reimbursed their deposits. According to Ms. Chen, the commercial environment of homestays has not been very favorable in recent years. “I hoped to make some money during peak season, but I got into an accident.” Many tourism professionals in Beihai say that “the peak tourist season, which began in early July, is now finished.”

Mr. Wu, from Hunan, came to Beihai on July 11, following his son’s high school admission exam. The boat landed at Weizhou Island on the morning of July 13. On July 14, he was told to leave immediately. He and his family had to wait for almost 7 hours on the ship before arriving in Beihai due to PCR testing. On the morning of July 16, they boarded a high-speed train back to their hometown in Hunan. According to the epidemic prevention regulations, they must notify the community and isolate themselves at home after returning.

According to NetEase, “from last August to this summer vacation, the pandemic has not abated, and there are relatively few tourists in Beihai, a tourist city. It is difficult for all social classes to make a living. Doing business in Beihai reminds me of trading in stocks. If you eat this dinner, you have no idea what you’ll eat the next day. I haven’t slept for the past two days. How can I pay off my online loan? How will I pay my rent and my child’s school fees? I was considering taking a two-month trip during the tourist season to make some money and relieve some of the economic burden, but there is now no chance. Everything has turned into a question mark.”

Faced with a challenging epidemic scenario, Su Kuang Feng, deputy secretary of the Haicheng District Party Committee and leader of Beihai City, and Tang Gang, party secretary and director of the Health Commission and City Health were fired on July 17 for “ineffective epidemic prevention.”

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