Virus-hit Shijiazhuang ensures heating, gas supply

SHIJIAZHUANG, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang has taken a raft of measures to ensure heating, gas and water supply as residents observe home quarantine amid a new cluster outbreak of COVID-19.

A medical worker collects swab sample from a child at a community COVID-19 testing site in Yuhua District of Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, Jan. 10, 2021. The second round of the nucleic acid testing has begun in some communities in Shijiazhuang. (Photo: Xinhua)

All residents in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, have been told to stay at home for two weeks since Jan. 6. The city has registered more than 200 confirmed cases since the beginning of this year.

The city's heating supply center said supply to residents has been increased during the epidemic to ensure no noticeable drop in room temperatures in houses.

Its personnel are on duty around the clock to deal with any disruption in heating supply, according to the center.

The main water supplier in Shijiazhuang also said it would start 24-hour monitoring of the city's water pressure and step up quality checks.

The city's gas center said it had negotiated with suppliers to ensure adequate supply.

To prevent accidents, inspectors would use infrared devices to check household gas facilities without the need to enter homes, the center said.

On Sunday, Shijiazhuang reported 77 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and 49 asymptomatic cases, accounting for the bulk of the country's daily total.

The postal administration of Shijiazhuang said about 25,000 couriers are returning to work to deliver daily necessities to stay-at-home residents, as the city's courier service resumed on Sunday.