China: lockdown for 13-million-strong city of xi’an

china: lockdown for 13-million-strong city of xi'an

After several dozen corona infections in chinese xi’an, massive curfews have been imposed on the metropolis’ 13 million inhabitants.

Since midnight they have not been allowed to leave their homes, exceptions are hardly permitted. Each family can designate one member to go shopping every two days, as the city government stated in its decree. The authorities reported 63 local infections on thursday. The outbreak was triggered by an "imported trap," it was said.

Whether the virus is the new omicron variant was not disclosed. In addition to the lockdown in shaanxi’s provincial capital, millions of corona tests are also expected to help contain the outbreak. Infected persons and their close contacts are to be taken to hospital or quarantine, and all transmission routes are to be interrupted. Schools have been closed – as have businesses that are not essential to the supply chain. Transport links were also largely interrupted. A large number of flights to xi’an were canceled.

With such rigid measures, china, which pursues a zero-covid policy, has largely got the virus under control. For more than a year, the pandemic situation in the people’s republic has been much better than in many other countries. The daily life and the economy have been normalized for a long time. However, the more contagious delta variant has caused several outbreaks since fall. And now officials fear the highly infectious omicron variant is spreading even faster. The winter olympics are due to start in beijing in six weeks’ time.


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