About 16 million people in the Chinese city of Chengdu were effectively under lockdown from yesterday as authorities reacted to a new COVID-19 outbreak.
China is the last major economy wedded to a “zero COVID-19” policy, stamping out virus flare-ups with snap shutdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines.
Chengdu has become the latest to announce a shutdown, saying in an official notice that residents must “stay home in principle” from 6pm yesterday to combat a new wave of infections.
Each household would be allowed to send one person out to buy groceries and essential goods per day, provided they have tested negative in the previous 24 hours, the notice said.
It said that all residents would be tested for the virus by Sunday and urged them not to leave the city unless “absolutely necessary.”
“The current state of epidemic control is abnormal, complex and grim,” the announcement said, adding that the measures aimed to “decisively arrest the spread of the outbreak and guarantee the health of all citizens.”
Chengdu recorded 157 new local infections yesterday, of which 51 displayed no symptoms, the city government said in a separate notice.
Children in at least 10 cities and provinces are facing disruption to the new academic year as pandemic controls force schools to switch to measures such as online learning, a report by a media firm affiliated with the People’s Daily said.
Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province and home to 2.5 million people, has ordered schools to conduct lessons online and told residents to work from home.
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