Chinese city puts 13 million people in new COVID-19 lockdown

The authorities in Chinese city of Xi’an, at today’s press conference, announced that the city has been placed on lockdown after 140 domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases were registered within the last 10 days.

According to Xi’an officials, all non-essential shops in the city will be temporarily closed, while dine-in eateries will not be allowed to open until the number of the COVID-19 infections declines.  

Starting from tomorrow, only one person in each city’s household will be able to leave their home to visit essential shops every two days. Everyone else must remain home unless they have jobs deemed essential by the government.

City authorities ordered residents not to leave Xi’an unless they had taken a COVID-19 test and received a negative result. According to state broadcaster CCTV, local authorities had already prevented some 7,000 people from leaving the city.

Large-scale gatherings, training workshops and parties are among a long list of events and activities prohibited by the local government in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. City businesses have also been encouraged to provide flexible work arrangements for employees.

The city will also step up COVID-19 testing measures and temperature scanning, the officials said.

Xi’an, in northwestern China, home to 13 million people, has reported more than140 locally transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms since December 12. The cluster was reportedly caused by the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

Beijing has signaled its strong desire to stamp out new COVID-19 clusters as soon as they emerge.

Recent research has also sparked serious concerns about the efficacy of Chinese-made vaccines against the latest variant of COVID-19, the highly contagious Omicron strain, compared to earlier versions of the virus.

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