Five million residents in the central Chinese city of Anyang have started home confinement today in a new lockdown to curb the spread of Omicron variant, according to state media and as reported by Agence France-Presse.
Two Omicron cases were detected in the city in Henan province, prompting authorities to announce a lockdown late Monday, issuing a notice ordering residents not to leave their homes or drive cars on the roads, state news agency Xinhua reported.
All non-essential businesses have been closed, outbound travel restricted and a mass-testing drive has been launched “to respond to the severe epidemic control situation and strictly prevent the spread of the Omicron virus outbreak”, Xinhua reported.
There were 58 new local infections reported in Anyang, state broadcaster CCTV said Tuesday, bringing the city’s total caseload to 84 since Saturday. It was not immediately clear whether the new cases were tied to the Omicron variant.
At least three cities in Henan are battling emerging outbreaks, with provincial capital Zhengzhou closing schools and kindergartens, and stopping restaurants from accepting dine-in customers.
Last week, one million people in the city of Yuzhou were put under stay-at-home orders.
Elsewhere, Tianjin – a major port city just 150 kilometres from Beijing – has barred people from leaving without official permission, ordered the testing of all 14 million residents, and cancelled trains into the capital. Tianjin confirmed another 10 new locally transmitted cases after citywide mass testing.
The northern city of Xi’an is in its third week of lockdown as it attempts to stamp out a 2,000-case outbreak.
And after logging a handful of cases in recent days, Shenzhen – a southern tech hub just across the border from Hong Kong – has locked down some housing compounds, launched a mass-testing initiative and shuttered some long-distance bus stations.