China Locks Down Megacity Chengdu as COVID-19 Zero Fight Rages

As of Thursday night, the Chinese megalopolis of Chengdu will lock down restricting the movement of its 21 million citizens. This is the largest city to close down since Shanghai’s two-month crisis earlier this year, reflecting the growing disruption caused by China’s ongoing fight against COVID Zero.

So far, the broad Western part of the country has mainly avoided being infected by the coronavirus. Mass testing will start on Thursday evening. The city government has issued an indefinite order for residents to remain inside until further notice.

One member per household can go out once daily to shop for food. Only after receiving a negative test result within the last 24 hours can they leave the city. The increased contagiousness of COVID has allowed it to spread widely throughout China, despite a decline in the number of illnesses caused by China’s vigorous efforts to eradicate the virus.

Despite the growing economic burden these measures are placing on the world’s second-largest economy, the results highlight the necessity to act swiftly to prevent transmission. There were 157 confirmed cases in the city on Wednesday prompting the lockdown.

China Locks Down Chengdu
China Locks Down Chengdu

Even though the approach is being threatened by more contagious subvariants and exacting an increasingly high social and economic toll, Chinese President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed his commitment to COVID Zero. The party congress later this year, where Xi is anticipated to clinch a historic third term as leader adds to the urgency with which tensions must be contained.

Local health officials have confirmed that the number of confirmed cases in the current outbreak in Chengdu has risen above 700. Those who live in the area have special needs or jobs related to virus protection and have tested negative for COVID within the past 24 hours are allowed to use public transit.

Yang Xiaoguang, head of Chengdu’s health commission told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday that the city’s severe heat contributed to the virus’s rapid spread at indoor entertainment places like water parks.

Chengdu postponed school resumption schedules on Wednesday, as did numerous cities around the country, citing complex virus prevention operations in the city.

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