On Wednesday, tens of millions of people in China were forced to stay inside due to a nationwide lockdown that was implemented after businesses in a major tourist city were ordered to shut their doors in response to a cluster of recent incidents that sparked fears of a return to blanket restrictions.
On Wednesday, the authorities in charge of public health recorded more than 300 cases of illness. Clusters of cases were found in the ancient city of Xi’an, which is located in the country’s north and is home to the Terracotta Army, as well as in Shanghai, the country’s biggest city.
The recent events and the official reaction to them have increased the level of concern that China may be about to return to the kinds of stringent restrictions experienced earlier this year, when Beijing’s draconian zero-Covid policy saw tens of millions of people locked down for weeks at a time.
On Tuesday, a number of individuals in Shanghai claimed on social media that they had received food rations from the authorities. This is a flashback to the month-long confinement that took place in the spring.
According to a post that went viral on WeChat written by a local resident, “Let me tell you a terrifying tale, Putuo district is sending out veggies again.”
Officials began a fresh round of mass testing in more than half of the city’s districts following a resurgence in cases over the weekend. On Wednesday, all karaoke bars were shut down after some illnesses were connected to six different venues of this kind.
The majority of the infected workers were in the workforce.
Pubs, internet cafes, and karaoke bars are just some of the public entertainment establishments that will close their doors at midnight on Wednesday, according to a notice issued by the municipal government.
It was revealed by state media that people of Xi’an were lining up for tests before to the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, although they emphasised that the city was not under lockdown.
The authorities have determined that the highly contagious and immune-evasive BA.5.2 sublineage of the Omicron variety is to blame for the epidemic that occurred in the city.
“The positive infections are all the BA.5.2 branch of the Omicron variation, and epidemiological tracking work is continuing in full gear,” a Xi’an well being official named Ma Chaofeng remarked during a briefing. “The positive infections”
The recent breakouts provide President Xi Jinping with a fresh challenge. Just last week, he reiterated his commitment to eliminating CoviD entirely, despite the escalating financial cost.
The Japanese financial company Nomura has projected that as of Monday, at least 114.8 million people throughout the country are subject to complete or partial lockdowns. This number represents a significant increase from the previous week’s figure of 66.7 million.
Since the previous week, over one thousand cases of infection have been recorded in the central province of Anhui, and dozens of cases have spread into the Jiangsu province that borders Shanghai, posing a danger to the primary industrial sector in the Yangtze Delta.