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China Locks Down Millions to Curb Omicron Variant

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China Locks Down Millions to Curb Omicron Variant

China’s Anyang City, home to five million people, started a new lockdown on Tuesday to stop the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the Coronavirus.

China has adopted a zero-COVID strategy, including targeted lockdowns, border restrictions, and long quarantines, as it prepares to host next month’s Winter Olympics.

However, Beijing is still dealing with local outbreaks in multiple cities, despite the fact that the number of new cases has been way below virus hotspots in the United States and Europe.

The fast-spreading Omicron strain poses a new challenge, with cases in Anyang — the new lockdown city in Henan province — linked to an infection cluster based in Tianjin, some 400 kilometres away.

Authorities in Anyang announced the lockdown late Monday, ordering residents not to leave their homes.

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In response to the severe epidemic situation and to strictly prevent the spread of the Omicron virus outbreak, all non-essential businesses have been closed, Xinhua reported.

As of Tuesday, 58 new local infections had been reported in Anyang, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

There was no immediate indication whether the new cases were related to the Omicron variant.

Local officials said that outbound travel had already been restricted to “ensure that the outbreak doesn’t spread outside the city”.

Several cities in Henan are facing outbreaks, including Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, which closed schools, kindergartens, and restaurants for dine-in customers.

Yuzhou, a city in southern China, ordered one million people to stay at home last week.

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As part of Tianjin’s ongoing crackdown, residents of the city, just 150 kilometres from Beijing, have been barred from leaving without official permission, residents have been tested, and trains into the capital have been halted.

Tianjin is close to venues for the Winter Olympics in Beijing and Hebei province, and another ten new locally transmitted cases were confirmed following citywide mass testing.

In an effort to stop a 2,000-case outbreak, Xi’an has been in lockdown for three weeks.

The southern tech hub of Shenzhen has also shuttered long-distance bus stations and locked down some housing compounds after logging a handful of cases in recent days.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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