Taipei’s downtown Songshan airport on Thursday began offering travellers the chance to do just that, with some 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. Around 7,000 people applied to take part, the winners chosen by random.
The National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) also reported 591 new cases, increasing the country’s caseload to 275,836, including 6,275 deaths.
Six months after the coronavirus arrived in Pakistan, the country appears to have dodged the worst of the pandemic, baffling health experts and dampening fears its crowded urban areas and ramshackle hospitals will be overrun.
Guangzhou authorities have ordered residents of entire districts to be tested for the virus, while the nearby cities of Foshan and Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, have also launched mass testing after local cases were detected in the past week. Hundreds of flights out of Guangzhou's Baiyun International Airport have been cancelled.
Since the coronavirus first emerged in central China, Beijing has mostly managed to bring the country's outbreak under control, and has administered over 777 million vaccine doses after a sluggish start.
"I am equally concerned that several member states are introducing blunt, blanket measures that are not evidence-based or effective on their own, and which will only worsen inequities," said the WHO chief Tedros.
The southern city took the measures on Sunday as authorities battled an Omicron flare-up in factories and neighbourhoods linked to nearby Hong Kong, which is recording scores of daily deaths as the virus runs rampant.
China reported 5,280 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, more than double the previous day's tally as the highly-transmissible Omicron variant spreads across a country which has tethered tightly to a 'zero-Covid' strategy.
At least 20 confirmed or preliminary positive cases were found in a public housing block in the Kwai Chung neighbourhood, said health chief Sophia Chan. "Clearly there is a community outbreak and the situation is worrying," Chan told reporters.