China locks down whole cities over tiny COVID outbreaks to stop unfold forward of Beijing Olympics

Beijing — Town of Zhengzhou ordered its almost 13 million residents to take COVID-19 checks Wednesday after a handful of instances had been detected, as China fights to stamp out virus clusters forward of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Everybody in Zhengzhou, which has been positioned beneath a partial lockdown, should be examined to “totally uncover infections hidden among the many public,” the town’s authorities stated in an announcement Wednesday.

Town has detected 11 instances in current days.

The mass-testing order got here as case numbers within the locked-down metropolis of Xi’an fell to their lowest in weeks, with officers saying that outbreak had been “introduced beneath management.”

Xi’an’s 13 million residents have been beneath stay-at-home orders for the final two weeks.

Medical workers collect swabs from residents during a citywide nucleic acid testing in Zhengzhou
Medical employees in protecting fits accumulate swabs from residents throughout a citywide nucleic acid testing program after lower than a dozen instances of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) had been detected in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, January 5, 2022.

cnsphoto through REUTERS

“Though the case quantity has been excessive for a lot of days, the speedy rise in COVID unfold at group stage has been introduced beneath management in contrast with the early levels of the outbreak,” stated Ma Guanghui, deputy director of Shaanxi province’s well being fee, at a press convention. “The epidemic is exhibiting a downward pattern.”

China has caught to a inflexible method of stamping out COVID instances once they seem, with tight border restrictions and focused lockdowns for the reason that virus first emerged within the nation in 2019.

However, with lower than a month to go till the Winter Olympics within the capital, a collection of small outbreaks throughout the nation has put the technique beneath stress.

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Though the variety of reported instances in China could be very low in contrast with different nations, infections in current weeks have reached a excessive not seen within the nation since March 2020.

China recorded 91 instances Wednesday — together with 35 in Xi’an, the town’s lowest tally since mid-December.

The Zhengzhou outbreak is tiny by comparability, however officers are taking no probabilities. State media stated about 500 shut contacts had been traced from the outbreak’s two symptomatic instances, linked by means of mahjong rooms and household gatherings.

Eight residential communities had been locked down.

On Monday, a million individuals in Yuzhou metropolis — in the identical province as Zhengzhou — had been put beneath stay-at-home orders after simply three asymptomatic instances had been confirmed there.

Native authorities deemed to have failed in stopping virus outbreaks have been sacked or punished, together with two senior Communist Celebration officers in Xi’an that had been dismissed over their “inadequate rigor in stopping and controlling the outbreak.”

Safety guards stroll in an space that’s beneath restrictions following a current coronavirus outbreak in Xi’an, in China’s northern Shaanxi province, December 22, 2021.


Dozens of officers had been punished for his or her dealing with of Xi’an’s outbreak, together with the official answerable for the town’s well being monitoring system, who was suspended.

Beijing will host the Winter Olympics from February 4, beneath a few of the strictest guidelines for a mass sporting occasion for the reason that pandemic began.

All athletes, officers, workers and volunteers shall be inside a “closed loop” system that separates them from the general public at some point of the Video games, together with journey to and from Beijing’s worldwide airport.

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