Shanghai Disneyland authorities reported that one guest was found to have tested positive for the coronavirus after visiting the theme park, forcing the temporary closure of the area, where roughly 33,000 people were trapped inside for one night.

City officials announced the sudden shut down of Shanghai Disneyland and banned any person from entering or leaving the premises on Sunday evening. The metro station that services the theme park was also temporarily closed down after the incident.

Shanghai Disneyland Lockdown

Park authorities said that the efforts were done in cooperation with a contact-tracing investigation after it was discovered that a woman who visited on Saturday later tested positive for the coronavirus in the Jiangxi province. On Monday, Shanghai announced that all of the guests who were tested over the weekend did not have any positive results.

However, authorities said that the involved individuals will have to be tested again to see if they were exposed to the coronavirus infection. It was estimated that roughly 100,000 people were at the park on Saturday and Sunday when the infected female was in the vicinity. Officials said all of these people would be required to get tested for the coronavirus, NPR reported.

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Due to the sudden closure of the theme park, guests were forced to spend the night in the area, prompting bizarre scenes that were captured on video and shared on social media which immediately went viral. Uploaded videos showed hundreds of staff workers wearing full medical hazmat suits testing young children and other park guests as Disney-themed fireworks were blasting away at the background overhead.

Despite the subway line connecting the park to the city being shut down, about 220 buses were used to bring visitors home for self-isolation, Park officials urged visitors who were at the theme park on Saturday or Sunday to stay home from work or school for at least two days and continue to monitor their health if they develop symptoms for two weeks.

Containing the Coronavirus Infection

While Shanghai's government said that none of the 33,000 tested guests were found to be positive for the virus, the theme park will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday. "We will notify guests as soon as we have confirmed a date to resume operations," said the theme park in a statement, Fortune reported.

The woman that was the source of the panic was believed to have taken a train to Shanghai from Jiangxi province on Friday. Officials said that during her return trip the next day, she was discovered to have had close contact with an infected case in Jiangxi and taken off the train to be placed into quarantine. On Sunday, the woman tested positive and developed a fever, later testing positive for the virus.

While many may view the sudden and large-scale closure of Disneyland as a bit extreme, many Chinese residents on social media platforms have praised the efforts. The situation has been praised as a lenient, targeted, and effective response to an isolated case that could potentially balloon into a massive outbreak if left unattended, CNN reported.


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