Corona outbreak: Authorities extend lockdown in northern China

Status: December 28, 2021 11:46 a.m.

The city of 13 million Xi’an seems to be almost empty: a hard lockdown has been in effect for a week due to a corona outbreak. Now there are significantly more stringent measures in another city in northern China – in Yan’an.

In northern China, the authorities have tightened the corona measures again. A week after a strict lockdown was imposed in the 13-million-dollar metropolis of Xi’an, the authorities in Yan’an, 300 kilometers away, announced the temporary closure of shops. Hundreds of thousands of people in one district have been quarantined.

The worst corona outbreak in China in 21 months was detected in Xi’an this month. On Tuesday, the number of corona infections in the metropolis rose again by 209 cases, according to the authorities – so many new infections were found nationwide in China in March 2020.

Only one person per household is allowed to shop every three days

In the middle of last week, a lockdown came into effect in Xi’an – home of the world-famous Terracotta Army. All non-essential shops and businesses have been closed, and only one person per household is allowed to leave the house every three days to buy essentials. In addition, the authorities in Xi’an started several mass tests of the population. Movement within the city and out of Xi’an has been severely restricted.

Massive restrictions on movement in Xi’an

Since last week, only those who are involved in the fight against corona have been allowed to work, for example at a test station or in the hospital. And who works in the critical infrastructure: for the police, garbage disposal or in the drinking water supply. Only those who have a special permit are allowed to leave the city. Anyone who does not adhere to the Corona restrictions must expect fines or prison sentences.

Xi’an internet users were bored with the ongoing lockdown on Tuesday. Some users even started calling for help in the face of empty refrigerators. “I am about to starve,” wrote a user on the online service Weibo. “There’s nothing to eat here, they won’t let me out of my condominium and I’ll soon run out of instant noodles. Please help me!” Wrote another.

Radical action against the smallest corona outbreaks

The state and party leadership pursues a strict zero-Covid course in the country of origin of the coronavirus. The authorities take radical action against the smallest outbreaks. The borders of the People’s Republic have been largely closed for more than a year and a half.

The Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin in the Chinese capital Beijing in around five weeks – in a bubble, completely shielded from the rest of the country. The organizers are under enormous pressure because of the outbreak in Xi’an and the rapidly increasing number of Omicron cases around the world.

With information from Benjamin Eyssel, ARD-Studio Beijing

China: More corona cases – authorities under pressure

Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Beijing, 28.12.2021 · 08:03

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