China Back Under Covid-19 Lockdown After Worst Crisis “Since Wuhan”

[Photo: Sky News]

 

Authorities in China have placed several cities under partial or full lockdown following a spike in Covid-19 cases. Millions of people across China are now living under lockdown as the country is battling its worst Covid-19 outbreak in 2 years.

The lockdown comes after new cases topped 1 000 for two consecutive days. On Sunday, the National Health Commission reported that the number of new locally transmitted cases was now at 3 100, the highest since 2020.

According to the South China Morning Post, health authorities have attributed the epidemic surge to the Omicron variant. Omicron is more transmissible but is less severe than the original Covid-19 virus.

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The surge in cases has seen authorities close schools in Shanghai and lockdown several northeastern cities, as almost 19 provinces battle clusters of the Omicron and Delta variants.

China, where the virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019, has maintained a strict zero-Covid policy. This includes swift lockdowns, travel restrictions and mass testing when clusters have emerged.

 

Which regions in China are witnessing a surge?

 

  • To contain the spread of Covid-19, the Chinese government put the high-tech Shenzhen city under lockdown. The city has a population of over 17 million.
  • Changchun, an industrial base of 9 million people in Jilin province, was locked down on Friday, while a few other cities have been closed down since March 1.
  • Residents of Jilin were ordered against leaving their residential compounds for non-essential reasons. All residents of Jilin have completed six sounds of mass testing, reported news agency AFP.
  • The country’s financial hub Shanghai has been reporting a surge in cases over the last one month.
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What are some of the main restrictions imposed during lockdown?

  • Cinemas, theatres and museums have been shut in Shanghai.
  • The city also has shut down schools and shifted to online learning.
  • Shanghai Disneyland resort has restricted entry with visitors requiring a COVID negative certificate issued within 24 hours.
  • The Canton Fair, China’s oldest and biggest trade fair has been shut down, Guangzhou officials said.
  • In Shenzen, public transport including buses and subways will be suspended starting March 14.
  • Dining in restaurants, closed indoor entertainment have been halted in all nine districts.
  • Companies have been asked to shift to remote working, with exceptions only for essential sectors.
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