13 mn residents in lockdown in Xian as China struggles to contain Covid outbreak

The Chinese government on Thursday announced a lockdown in the city of Xian to curb a local outbreak of the Covid-19. China, which follows a zero-tolerance approach, asked Xian’s 13 million residents to remain indoors and asked citizens to designate one person for getting essential supplies for households.

Though no cases of the Omicron variant has been reported in Xian, the authorities in the city have made it difficult for its 13 million residents to leave their homes as well as the city. Xian’s outbreak has seen cases rise steadily for six consecutive days since December 17, news agency Reuters reported. However, people exiting the city have to test negative for the disease ahead of their departure along with receiving clearance from their employers as well as local authorities.

Authorities have cancelled all domestic flights to and from Xian which were scheduled for Thursday.

China’s zero-tolerance approach aims at ending the virus by bringing cases to zero and the lockdowns, which was imposed after 127 Covid-19 cases were detected across 14 districts, aims to do that amid the Omicron scare and as Beijing opens for the Winter Olympics. Chinese officials, according to media reports, have earlier stamped local outbreaks within one month through measures like mass-testing and strict quarantine measures for cities and towns.

According to Reuters, China has reported at least nine such outbreaks in 2021. The first outbreak was reported in early January in northern China followed by an outbreak in Yunnan during the March-April period.

Outbreaks were reported in Guangdong in May with Yunnan witnessing another outbreak in April. Jiangsu and Fujian recorded outbreaks in August and September respectively while northern China saw another outbreak in October. Ahead of the outbreak in Xian, China’s Zhejiang recorded another outbreak in November.

Xian has so far recorded 63 cases, news agency Reuters reported citing the National Health Commission. China has recorded 71 local symptomatic cases according to data released by the Chinese government on Wednesday. China has 100,644 confirmed cases and the death toll has reached 4,636. 

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/13-mn-residents-in-lockdown-in-xian-as-china-struggles-to-contain-covid-outbreak/ar-AAS568k?ocid=BingNews

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