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China Punished 26 Officials for Xi’an Coronavirus Outbreak

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In the northwestern China city of Xian, officials have been sanctioned following a COVID-19 outbreak that paralyzed its 13 million residents. It is said that the outbreak was caused by a flight from Pakistan that landed in Xian. On Friday, all domestic flights from and into Xian were cancelled.

Xian, China is where terracotta warriors are buried with China’s first emperor.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection reports that 26 people in Xian will be punished for “not doing a good job” with COVID-19 prevention and control. However, the punishment has not been specified.

The number of locally transmitted cases with symptoms confirmed in the city declined to 49 on Dec. 23, down from 63 a day earlier, the first decline since Dec. 10.

From Thursday, every household in Xian was only allowed to send one person to shop for necessities every two days, while others were not allowed to leave unless they had jobs that were essential.

The Xian government has launched multiple rounds of mass testing.

China Imposes COVID Lockdown on 13 Million People

Xian suffered 255 local symptomatic cases between Dec 9 and Dec 23 – and China as a whole has had only a handful compared with outbreaks elsewhere. However, authorities have used heavy-handed measures that have largely succeeded in preventing outbreaks elsewhere from spreading.

Beijing is especially determined to contain any outbreak as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in February.

A strictly enforced “closed-loop” will seclude anyone coming for the Games inside a country that has effectively shut its borders to international arrivals.

As a result of China’s aggressive COVID-fighting strategy, domestic travel has been impacted, and some localised disruptions have occurred in its industrial sector.

The Chinese health authority reported Friday that there were 87 new cases nationwide for Dec. 23, down from 100 a day earlier. A National Health Commission statement said 55 of them were locally transmitted, compared with 71 the day before.

According to Beijing, there were no new deaths, so the death toll now stands at 4,636, a death count critics believe to be far higher.

As of Dec. 23, there were 100,731 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in mainland China.

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