China locks down 13 million people in Xi’an after detecting 127 Covid cases
China reported 71 local cases on Thursday, 63 of which were in Xi’an
Up to 13 million people have been placed into lockdown in the city of Xi’an in China, as authorities move to clamp down on the community spread of Covid-19 after 127 infections were found in a second round of mass testing.
The snap lockdown on Thursday comes little over a month before Beijing is set to host the Winter Olympics.
All residents in Xi’an are barred from leaving their houses except to buy living necessities every other day or for emergencies, while travel to and from the city is suspended save for in exceptional circumstances requiring official approval. All non-essential businesses have also been closed.
Authorities issued an order late on Wednesday, according to the state news agency Xinhua. The vice-premier, Sun Chunlan, has travelled to the region to oversee implementation of the lockdown.
Infections had spread to 14 districts in Xi’an – home to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors - as of Wednesday. Community infections in the capital of Shaanxi province grew after an initial case was detected at a local university. Health workers began a third round of mass testing on Thursday. State media has not reported what the variant of the infections in Xi’an is.
The lockdown measures are some of the most severe since China locked down 11 million residents in Wuhan in early 2020, where the Covid-19 virus was first detected.
China reported 71 local cases on Thursday, 63 of which were in Xi’an.