Two people who returned to their hometown after contracting the coronavirus in the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak in January have been sentenced to prison for failing to quarantine themselves or report the visit. After returning from Wuhan, the pair visited supermarkets and other public places in the western city of Yibin in Sichuan province for more than a week before showing symptoms, the People’s Court of Cuping District in Yibin said Saturday on its social media account. It said one defendant, identified only by the surname Deng, concealed the Wuhan trip when questioned by health workers. Deng was sentenced to 11 months on charges of obstructing disease control, the court said. The other, identified by the surname Tian, was sentenced to nine months. Both sentences were postponed for 18 months.
Beijing receiving first international flights since March
Beijing’s main international airport has begun receiving international flights again from a limited number of countries considered at low risk of coronavirus infection. Passengers flying in from Cambodia, Greece, Denmark, Thailand, Pakistan, Austria, Canada and Sweden must have first shown a negative coronavirus test before boarding, city government spokesperson Xu Hejian told reporters. Passenger arrivals will be limited to roughly 500 per day during a trial period and all will need to undergo additional testing for the virus on arrival, followed by two weeks of quarantine. The first flight under the arrangement, Air China Flight 746, arrived from Pnom Penh, Cambodia, just before 7 a.m. last Thursday. China has gone weeks without new cases of local infection.
China’s first reusable spacecraft lands after two-day flight
China’s first reusable spacecraft landed yesterday after two days in orbit, a possible step toward lower-cost space flight, the government announced. The secretive, military-run space program has released few details of the craft, which was launched Friday aboard a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s desert northwest. The craft landed as planned at Jiuquan, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The flight “marks an important breakthrough in our country’s research on reusable spacecraft” that promise a “more convenient and inexpensive way” to reach space, Xinhua said. China fired its first astronaut into orbit in 2003 and has launched a space station. Last year, it became the first country to land a robot rover on the moon’s little-seen far side. A probe carrying another robot rover is en route to Mars.