July 6, 2022

Xi’an, a city of 13 million people in China, confines itself after a hundred cases

Due to a rebound in Covid-19 cases, more than a month before the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Chinese authorities imposed, Wednesday, December 22, a confinement in Xi’an, a city in the north of the country known for its buried terracotta army, which has a population of 13 million. The city had already considerably restricted travel on Wednesday to contain an outbreak of Covid-19. Residents must now “Stay at home unless there is a compelling reason”, the local authorities announced in a statement. However, one person per household is allowed to shop. ” every two days “.

The country reported 52 new patients in Xi’an on Wednesday, bringing the number of patients in the city to 143 since December 9. Xi’an, which on Tuesday began screening its entire population, previously urged residents to avoid going out and congregating in large groups. About 90 residential neighborhoods are under confinement but the number of people concerned is not known.

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“Zero Covid” strategy

To prevent any spread of the virus, residents of Xi’an had since Wednesday morning to be provided with a permit to take the train and leave the city, the public television channel CCTV reported before the announcement of the lockdown. In the air, more than 85% of flights to and from Xi’an have been canceled, according to the specialist site VariFlight.

China has been pursuing a “zero Covid” strategy since last year, which consists of doing everything to limit the occurrence of new cases as much as possible, generally limited to only a few dozen per day. China has practically eradicated the epidemic on its soil since the spring of 2020 thanks to long mandatory quarantines on arrival, targeted containments, massive screenings, mobile travel tracking applications and the drastic limitation of international flights.

However, the country continues to regularly face small sporadic outbreaks, usually contained within a few weeks. While the number of cases in China is extremely low compared to other countries, authorities do not want to leave anything to chance before the Winter Olympics (February 4 to 20) and the major Lunar New Year shifts (1is February). In October, the country had already imposed confinement in Lanzhou (north-west) for its 4 million inhabitants.

The World with AFP