world-news

China expands lockdowns amid surge in Covid-19 cases

China expands lockdowns amid surge in Covid-19 cases

Hundreds of thousands more people were ordered to stay home in northern China Tuesday, joining millions under strict lockdown as authorities raced to contain a surge in Covid cases that have reached a 21-month high. China -- where the virus emerged two years ago -- has followed a zero-Covid strategy of tight border restrictions, lengthy quarantines and targeted lockdowns as Beijing prepares to welcome thousands of overseas visitors to Februarys Winter Olympics. But authorities have faced a resurgent virus in recent weeks, reporting 209 infections on Tuesday -- the highest single-day tally since March last year, when the pandemic raged through the central city of Wuhan. The surge -- while low in comparison to rampant cases in Europe and the United States -- has prompted authorities to impose what they have called the strictest possible curbs in the northern city of Xian, whose 13 million residents are entering a sixth day of home confinement. Nearby cities have also logged cases linked to the flare-up, with Yanan -- about 300 kilometres (186 miles) from Xian -- Tuesday shuttering businesses and ordering hundreds of thousands of people in one district to stay indoors. The Xian lockdown is the most sweeping in China since the similarly-sized Wuhan was sealed off. The city has set up over 4,400 sampling sites and deployed more than 100,000 people to handle the latest round of testing, according to state broadcaster CCTV. Footage showed masked residents queueing to be tested in streets and sports centres. Theres no food But banned from driving and limited to sending out one household member every three days to buy groceries, many Xian residents have taken to social media to call for help in acquiring food and other essentials. Im about to be starved to death, wrote one person on the Weibo site. Theres no food, my housing compound wont let me out, and Im about to run out of instant noodles ... please help! This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. I dont want to hear any more news about how everything is fine, said another. So what if supplies are so abundant -- theyre useless if you dont actually give them to people. Authorities have insisted that supplies remain stable as they maintain strict controls on movement into and out of Xian. Students have also been banned from leaving university dormitories unless necessary, CCTV reported.    .

world-news 2021-12-29 hindustantimes