(Beijing) The Chinese authorities imposed confinement on Wednesday in the city of Xi’an (north), with a population of 13 million, due to the rebound in cases of the Covid-19 virus, more than a month after the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The city, known for its army buried in mud, had already imposed severe movement restrictions on Wednesday to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Local authorities said in a statement that residents should now “stay in their homes unless there is a compelling reason”.
However, one person in each household is entitled to do the shopping “every two days”.
China has been pursuing a “zero COVID-19” strategy since last year, which consists of doing everything possible to reduce the incidence of new cases as much as possible, which is generally limited to just a few dozen per day.
The country reported 52 new patients in Xi’an on Wednesday, bringing the number of patients in the city to 143 since Dec. 9.
Xi’an, which on Tuesday began checking all of its residents, previously urged residents to avoid going out and gathering in large groups.
About 90 residential neighborhoods are also under siege, but the number of people involved is unknown.
To prevent any spread of the virus, residents of Xi’an since Wednesday morning have been given permission to board the train and leave the city, CCTV public television reported before the lockdown was announced.
In the air, more than 85% of flights to and from the city of Xi’an have been canceled, according to the specialist website VariFlight.
China has practically eradicated the epidemic on its soil since the spring of 2020 thanks to a lengthy mandatory quarantine on arrival, targeted containment, extensive checks, mobile applications to track movements and strict restrictions on international flights.
However, the country still regularly experiences sporadic small outbreaks, and they are usually contained within a few weeks.
While the number of cases in China is very low compared to other countries, the authorities do not want to leave anything to chance before the Winter Olympics (February 4-20) and the major Lunar New Year transitions (1is being February).
Already in October, the country imposed a confinement in Lanzhou (Northwest) of its 4 million inhabitants.
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