China at Risk: COVID Locks Down Millions More In China
BEIJING: The Chinese government on Sunday imposed stay-at-home orders on millions more people in the country’s northeast as it battles its biggest COVID-19outbreak in two years.
Since its initial outbreak in 2020, the country has mostly kept the virus at bay through targeted lockdowns, mass testing, and travel restrictions.
Despite this, the Omicron strain has taken hold in many cities in recent months.
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China reported more than 4,000 new COVID infections on Sunday
About 4.5 million residents of Jilin, the second-largest city in Jilin province, will be locked down for three days starting Monday night, local authorities announced.
More than 4,000 new cases of COVID have been reported across China on Sunday – with two-thirds in Jilin province, which borders Russia and North Korea.
Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, said Saturday it would also tighten restrictions for three days.
On March 11, Changchun’s nine million residents were only allowed to go out to buy food once every two days.
Only medical personnel and anti-epidemic workers will be allowed to leave their homes under the new measures.
However, restrictions are being eased in Shenzhen, which locked down its 17.5 million residents a week ago.
Local health authorities said Sunday that public transportation will resume fully on Monday and that administrative and business activities will resume as well.
Businesses that are not essential will remain closed, and Futian’s downtown is still under strict anti-COVID measures.
Shenzhen has some of China’s most important tech firms, making any curbs on businesses costly.
China on Saturday recorded its first two deaths from COVID in more than a year.
In other regions, tens of millions of people are in lockdown, and authorities are scrambling to create hospital beds, fearing the outbreak could strain the healthcare system.
Jiangxi province has built eight temporary hospitals and two quarantine centers.
Tangshan, a city east of Beijing, banned traffic for 24 hours on Sunday in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease and will test all of its 7.7 million residents.
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