China (MNN) — COVID-19 has returned to Wuhan, China. This city became the first to see a large COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019. In response, Wuhan will test all 10 million residents for the Delta Variant.
This reflects China’s zero-tolerance policy towards COVID-19. Erik Burklin of China Partner says, “In China, they take this virus a little bit more serious than here in the western part of the world. The overall total numbers of positive cases are so minute compared to the rest of the population when you think of 1.4 billion people.” Wuhan has locked down neighborhoods with the most cases and even closed the airport.
Impact on China Partner
This strict view of COVID-19 has kept cases in China very low since the beginning of the pandemic. But it also means China Partner staff can’t travel to the country, and may not be able to for some time.
Burklin says it’s a frustrating process. “The government is not giving any visas to any foreigners. That’s us. So we cannot even legally travel to China and conduct any of the training that we normally do. However, we are doing some things here, in preparation for when the doors open up again. For instance, they have wanted us to do some zoom training or even some recorded training.”
Some churches have had to close as well. Burklin says, “And yet, we are regularly in communication with them, and they seem to be encouraged. They are committed to the call that God has given them to minister. So they will continue to do so.”
In many other parts of China with low COVID-19 cases, Burklin says, churches remain fully open. No matter the restrictions, ask God to give Chinese Christians wisdom as they proclaim the good news of Jesus. “Pray for the Chinese church leadership and the churches there, that God would keep them strong, keep them encouraged, keep them focused on the Gospel, and not so much on what is happening in the periphery: in their case, what happens with the government or what happens with the virus.”