COVID-19: China confines city of 13 million people

COVID-19: China confines city of 13 million inhabitants

MISE & Agrave; DAY

BEIJING | No exit except for an imperative reason: China on Wednesday imposed confinement on a city of 13 million inhabitants, due to an epidemic rebound of COVID-19 44 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics.

If these figures may seem derisory compared to those recorded daily in other parts of the world, they are pushing the authorities to redouble their vigilance with the approach of the Winter Olympics, which will begin on February 4. p>

Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Games, will become the first city in the world to also host Olympic events in winter.

900 km from the venues, an epidemic rebound has been affecting the region for two weeks. Xi'an city (north), where 52 additional patients were identified on Wednesday. & nbsp;

To prevent any spread of the virus, residents will have to “stay at home unless there is a compelling reason” as of Thursday midnight (Wednesday 11 & nbsp; h Quebec time), local authorities indicated.

One person per household is however authorized to do the shopping “& nbsp; every two days & nbsp;”, have -they specified in a press release.

All “non-essential” businesses, with the exception of supermarkets, convenience stores and medical establishments, have been ordered to close.

Drastic measures

Xi'an is known for its buried terracotta army, located in the mausoleum of China's first emperor.

The city had already severely restricted movement and began screening its entire population on Tuesday.

About 90 residential neighborhoods had been preventively placed in isolation, without knowing the number of people affected by this measure.

Before the announcement of the lockdown, residents of Xi'an had since Wednesday morning to be in possession of a permit to take the train and leave the city, according to public television CCTV. & Nbsp;

In the air , more than 85% of flights to and from Xi'an have been canceled, according to specialist site VariFlight.

China, where the first cases of Covid were discovered there is two years old, has since largely controlled the epidemic on his soil. & nbsp;

Life has returned to normal since the spring of 2020 and the country has officially recorded just two more deaths. 'one year.

But at the cost of drastic measures: near closure of borders, long mandatory quarantines on arrival, targeted confinements, massive screenings. & Nbsp;

Mobile applications for tracking movements are also widely used on a daily basis.

However, the country continues to regularly face small sporadic outbreaks, generally contained within a few weeks.

Already in October, several towns had been confined, including the metropolis of Lanzhou (northwest) and its 4 million inhabitants.

China reported earlier this month its first case of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

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