Covid19: Chinese cities tighten curbs on Covid outbreaks; curfew imposed in 152 cities.
Several Chinese cities, including COVID-19 ground zero Wuhan in Central China to Xiang in the northwest, have introduced new curbs, sealing up buildings and locking down districts in a scramble to battle widening outbreaks, as China on Thursday reported a third straight day of more than 1,000 new COVID cases nationwide.
However, it is a modest tally compared with the tens of thousands per day that sent Shanghai into a full-blown lockdown earlier last year but enough to trigger more curbs and restrictions across the country.
China’s Coronavirus caseload has remained marginal by global standards, but its ultra-strict and disruptive containment measures this year against the highly transmissible ‘Omicron’ variant have weighed heavily on the world’s largest population.
Guangzhou sealed completely, residents kept indoors
Guangzhou, China’s fourth-biggest city by economic output and the provincial capital of Guangdong, on Thursday sealed up more streets and neighbourhoods and kept people in their homes as new areas were deemed high-risk in a COVID resurgence that persisted into its fourth week.
“The situation is still unstable. Many places are under lockdown. Classes have stopped and entertainment venues have been suspended too. As of Oct. 24, 28 cities were implementing varying degrees of lockdown measures, with around 207.7 million people affected in regions that comprise around 25.6 trillion Yuan ($3.55 trillion) of China’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to Nomura.
25% of China’s GDP affected by the latest spread
That’s the equivalent of nearly a quarter of China’s 2021 GDP. Mainland China shares edged lower on Thursday as the outbreaks dragged on sentiment, while gloomy data on a COVID-battered industrial sector cast a further dark covering over markets.
Wuhan, the site of the world’s first COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019, reported around 20 to 25 new infections a day this week, prompting local authorities to order more than 800,000 people in one district to stay at home until Sunday.
Sale of Pork suspended, suspected to carry COVID virus
Wuhan also suspended the sale of ‘pork’ in parts of the city, according to images and posts on social media, after one COVID case was found that authorities suspected, was linked to the local pork supply chain.
In Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, social media posts told of food shortages and price inflation for essential goods as health authorities in the city of 2.5 million people raced to contain a COVID rebound following the week-long National Day holiday in early October.
“To reduce the risk of transmission, some vegetable and fruit stores have been closed and put under quarantine,” said a Xining government official on Wednesday.
Other large cities across China including Zhengzhou, Datong and Xian have implemented new curbs this week to rein in local outbreaks.
In Beijing, the Universal Resort theme park was shut on Wednesday after at least one visitor tested positive for the Coronavirus.
China has repeatedly vowed to stick to its zero-tolerance response to COVID-19 and implement what the authorities say are necessary measures to contain the virus.
Will the latest spread in China escalate and multiply across the globe?
Now, the moot question for all around the world – whether the present outbreak in China will escalate to alarming propositions and spread to other parts of the globe – remains to be closely monitored in the coming days, weeks and months.