China Puts 13 Million On Lockdown Following Coronavirus Spike Just Weeks Before Winter Games

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BEIJING (AP) — China is redoubling efforts to regulate new virus outbreaks with a lockdown of the 13 million residents of the northern metropolis of Xi’an following a spike in coronavirus circumstances.

The measure comes simply weeks earlier than the nation hosts the Winter Olympics in Beijing, roughly 6,210 miles to the west.

There was no phrase on whether or not the virus was the newly surging omicron variant or the much more frequent delta. China has recorded simply seven omicron circumstances — 4 within the southern manufacturing middle of Guangzhou, two within the southern metropolis of Changsha and one within the northern port of Tianjin.

China has additionally been coping with a considerable outbreak in a number of cities within the japanese province of Zhejiang close to Shanghai, though isolation measures there have been extra narrowly focused.

Authorities have adopted strict pandemic management measures beneath their coverage of searching for to drive new transmissions to zero, resulting in frequent lockdowns, common masking and mass testing. While the coverage has not been solely profitable whereas resulting in huge disruptions in journey and commerce, Beijing credit it with largely containing the unfold of the virus.

The Xi’an restrictions are among the harshest since China in 2020 imposed a strict lockdown on greater than 11 million folks in and across the central metropolis of Wuhan, the place the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.

Xi’an on Thursday reported one other 63 regionally transmitted circumstances, pushing town’s whole to not less than 211 over the previous week. Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi province, famed for its imperial relics, in addition to a significant middle of trade.

“We are not receiving any new guests and no present guests are allowed to leave the hotel,” stated a receptionist on the Hanting Hotel in Xi’an, who solely gave her surname, Li.

“Including the guests, we are required to take a test once every two days.” Li stated. “There will be an impact on our business and we have no idea how long it will last.”

The proprietor of an area bookshop stated he had closed 10 days earlier than “fearing the worsening of the epidemic situation.”

“I am now staying at home watching television.” stated the proprietor, who gave solely his surname, Xiao.

Movement outdoors his compound required permission from the native neighborhood committee, he stated. “I think the situation will get better eventually, and I don’t worry at all because we have the government behind us,” Xiao stated.

One individual from every family will probably be allowed out each two days to purchase family requirements, a authorities order stated. It took impact at midnight Wednesday, with no phrase on when it may be lifted.

China has reported 4,636 deaths amongst a complete of 100,644 circumstances of COVID-19.

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