China on Tuesday detained tens of thousands of additional people, as the country grapples with a record number of novel coronavirus infections within 40 days of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
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The city of Xi’an (North), famous for the secret army of the first emperor of China, was subjected to the sixth day of a strict quarantine on Tuesday after a limited epidemic recovery.
300 kilometers away, tens of thousands of residents in an area of Yan’an City, in turn, have been ordered to stay at home, while businesses have been forced to close.
China reported 209 new COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, the highest number of daily infections in 21 months.
The authorities have been implementing a “zero COVID” strategy since last year, which consists in doing everything possible to reduce the incidence of new cases as much as possible.
With the Winter Olympics in Beijing (February 4-20, 2022) approaching, China is redoubling its vigilance and taking drastic measures as soon as the outbreak emerges.
However, life has been almost normal in the country since the spring of 2020 despite the limited spread of the epidemic and was generally brought under control within a few weeks.
Xi’an’s containment is the largest in China since Wuhan, when the world was shocked by the discovery of a deadly new virus in early 2020.
Xi’an’s 13 million residents are only allowed out to refuel, and once every three days, only one person per household.
Many residents criticize such severity.
“I’m going to starve,” a user on Weibo, the social network equivalent to Twitter, pleaded.
“There is no food, my accommodation does not allow me to go out and I am about to run out of instant noodles […] Another commented.
Authorities say that despite strict health controls entering Xi’an, the food supply is stable.
But some residents are skeptical.
One wrote, “I don’t want to hear it’s all right anymore.” “There’s no point in having an abundance of provisions if you don’t give it to people.”
One resident, Mr. Liu, whose full name was not given, told AFP that chaotic management in some neighborhoods was causing shortages.
“The offer in our neighborhood store is correct, but the prices are higher than usual,” he notes.
One resident, Wei, said she never runs out of food.
“We were warned about the reservation and were able to make reservations.”
More than 800 cases have been recorded in Xi’an since the beginning of the month.
Officers in blue coats sprayed disinfectant on deserted Xi’an streets, according to videos from state-run CCTV, where residents were again widely screened.
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