Shanghai Disneyland Closed for at Least Two Days Over Single Covid-19 Case

Shanghai Disneyland Closed for at Least Two Days Over Single Covid-19 Case
A lone person is seen walking outside Shanghai Disneyland on November 1, 2021. (Photo: STR/AFP, Getty Images)

Shanghai Disneyland, the only Disney park in mainland China, closed its gates on Monday after a single case of COVID-19 was detected on Sunday, according to Chinese state media outlet Xinhua. The theme park will remain closed through at least Tuesday and it’s not clear when it may reopen.

The lone COVID-19 case was found in an unnamed woman who visited the park recently but only discovered she had the disease after returning home to a “neighbouring province,” according to Channel News Asia. Anyone who visited Shanghai Disney over the weekend has been told to get tested for COVID-19 immediately.

China has pursued a public health strategy of completely eliminating covid-19 and the country regularly records just a handful of new cases each day for a country of 1.4 billion people. China’s National Health Commission reported just 48 locally-acquired covid-19 cases in the country on Sunday, not including asymptomatic cases, which China doesn’t recognise in its official stats.

China has reported just 97,151 cases and 4,636 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, though, again, that doesn’t include asymptomatic cases, which virtually every other country includes in its statistics.

The so-called COVID-zero strategy has been dropped by most countries that’ve pursued it, including Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand, among a handful of others that started 2021 with the strategy. But China is still striving for complete elimination of COVID-19 within its borders, using a combination of draconian lockdowns and mass testing whenever cases pop up. Mass testing has really set China apart, as entire cities with millions of people are sometimes tested to control spread of the disease.

Aside from mass testing, China has also been tremendously successful at getting large numbers of its population vaccinated against COVID-19. A stunning 75.6% of the country’s residents have been fully vaccinated, the 11th best rate in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. is currently ranked 51st in the world at 58.63% fully vaccinated, just behind Hungary (58.67%), El Salvador (58.72%), and Lithuania (58.81%).

One reason China has reportedly pursued a strategy of complete elimination of the virus is to make things as safe as possible for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which starts on February 4. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s almost the year 2022, if you can believe it.

Video surfaced on social media appearing to show people getting tested for covid-19 at Shanghai Disneyland, presumably on October 31, though Gizmodo could not independently verify when the video was taken.

Shanghai Disneyland posted a notice on its website Sunday explaining the park would be closed on November 1 and 2.

“We will notify guests as soon as we have a confirmed date to resume operations,” the notice reads. “We apologise for the inconvenience and will provide refund or exchange for all guests impacted during this period. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!”