China: millions of confined people face a record outbreak of cases in two years

Several Chinese cities have asked residents to stay home due to a spike in Omicron cases across the country.

Millions of people were in lockdown across China on Sunday as the country recorded its highest rate in two years of daily coronavirus cases. The city of Shenzhen, home to tech giants such as Huawei and Tencent, has asked its 17 million residents to stay at home after 66 new coronavirus cases were reported, the local government said, which has sealed off. the business district, having already closed non-essential places and banned restaurants in recent days.

In Shanghai, China’s most populous metropolis, residential areas were cordoned off one by one as well as schools, businesses, restaurants and shopping malls. Authorities also said Sunday that people could not leave or enter the city without a negative test in the past 48 hours.

SEE ALSO – China: Covid-19 cases at their highest in two years

Zero Covid?

Entire towns in the northeast have been subjected to the same regime. Yanji, a city of 700,000 inhabitants on the North Korean border, has been completely confined. And the big city of Jilin, in the northeast, has been partially, with hundreds of districts put under bell, announced Sunday an official. Residents of Jilin, which has reported more than 500 cases of the Omicron variant, had completed their six rounds of mandatory drug tests on Sunday, according to local authorities.

China, where the virus was first detected in late 2019, has applied a zero-tolerance policy to the outbreak. It reacts to epidemic outbreaks with local confinements, mass screening, control of its population through tracing applications and the country’s borders remain practically closed. But this record of daily cases, caused by the Omicron variant, undermines this approach.

Jilin’s mayor and Changchun’s health official were removed from their posts on Saturday, state media reported, in a sign of the political imperative imposed on local authorities to tackle outbreaks.

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