China: 13 million Xi’an residents ordered to stay home

China: 13 million Xi’an residents ordered to stay home. Credit: Photo by Qiwei Hou on Unsplash

China: 13 million Xi’an residents ordered to stay home.

THE city of Xi’an in China imposes a hard lockdown meaning its entire population – 13 million residents – have been ordered to stay at home and be indoors due to growing Covid concerns.

Xi’an reported 52 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, December 22, bringing the total to 143 since December 9 which has led to these drastic measures, with officials in China keeping February’s Beijing Winter Olympics – which is just 44 days away – at the forefront of their thinking.

The new restrictions mean that from midnight on Thursday, December 23, all households may only “send one household member outside once every two days to purchase necessities,” with all others ordered to remain indoors except for emergencies, the city government said in a statement on its official Weibo social media account.

Residents “should not leave the city unless necessary,” the government said, adding that those seeking to leave would have to provide evidence of “special circumstances” and apply for approval.

All “non-essential” businesses and public facilities aside from supermarkets, convenience stores and medical institutions have been ordered to close, while the local government has urged employers to allow people to work from home, public television CCTV reported.

China has been pursuing a “zero Covid” strategy since last year, which consists of doing everything to limit the occurrence of new cases as much as possible, generally limited to only a few dozen per day.

Before the announcement, residents of Xi’an had to be provided with authorisation to take the train and leave the city, according to CCTV.

More than 85 per cent of flights to and from Xi’an have now been cancelled, according to the specialist site VariFlight.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]