Covid: China’s Chengdu 20 million residents in lockdown

Authorities in Chengdu, one of China’s largest cities, have imposed strict restrictions on the city’s 2.12 million residents to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

They have also announced a 4-day public test for the detection of Covid-19 across the city, Reuters reported.

Several densely populated and economically important cities in China are now struggling to cope with the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Chengdu city authorities have asked residents of the capital of Sichuan province to remain indoors from 6 p.m. on Thursday, according to new guidelines. But every day one member of the family will be allowed to go out of the house for daily necessities.

Chengdu is the biggest city in China to go under lockdown after Shanghai. Shanghai was under strict lockdown for two months this year to combat Covid.

Chengdu’s public testing for Covid-19 will continue until Sunday, after which it was not immediately clear whether the city’s restrictions would be eased.

Restrictions against the coronavirus have been tightened in several other cities this week, including the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and the northeastern city of Dalian. In some places, instructions have been given to work from home, in some important districts, entertainment-related businesses have been asked to close.

Due to these measures, billions of people in China are suffering from various economic problems. China adopted a ‘zero covid’ policy to prevent infection from the beginning. That is, wherever the number of Covid patients is seen to be increasing, strict restrictions including lockdown should not be lifted until the number of infections is reduced to zero.

While other countries have chosen to move forward with the virus, China is sticking to its ‘zero covid’ policy.

Most of the restrictions are now in place for a short time, but two provincial cities in northern China have extended restrictions slightly beyond the previously announced period.

Chengdu authorities have asked workers in non-essential sectors to work from home, and residents have been banned from leaving the city unless absolutely necessary.

Those who leave their homes for essential work or hospital, must take permission from the responsible officials of the area.

Workers in key construction-related factories that can be operated indoors will be exempted from work-from-home directives.

Flightmaster data shows that the number of flights to and from Chengdu has dropped dramatically after the lockdown was imposed.

As of 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, 398 flights were canceled at Shuangliu Airport, with 725 at Tianfu Airport.

In Shenzhen’s most populous district, Bawan, China’s key technology and transportation hub bordering Hong Kong, three days of large events and four-walled entertainment have been canceled from Thursday. Instructions have also been given to thoroughly check the digital health credentials of people while entering residential buildings.

Half of the city’s 10 districts, including 15, have ordered the closure of entertainment venues and the suspension or reduction of dining at restaurants for a few days.

Jackie Haynes

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