About 800,000 people have been forced into lockdown in the city of Wuhan, China, almost 3 years after the world’s first Covid outbreak occured.
Reports emerging from Chinese state media, Chinese cities from Wuhan in central China to Xining in the north-west are doubling down on Covid-19 curbs, sealing up buildings, locking down districts and throwing people into more distress in a scramble to halt widening outbreaks.
China has repeatedly vowed to stick to its zero-tolerance response to Covid-19 and implement what the authorities say are necessary measures to contain the virus.
China on Thursday October 27, reported a third straight day of more than 1,000 new Covid cases nationwide, a modest tally compared with the tens of thousands a day that sent Shanghai into a full-blown lockdown earlier this year .
Wuhan, site of the world’s first Covid-19 outbreak in late 2019, reported about 20 to 25 new infections a day this week. The city has registered 240 cases over the past 14 days. Local authorities ordered more than 800,000 people in one district to stay at home until 30 October.
Wuhan also reportedly suspended the sale of pork meat in parts of the city, according to images and posts on social media, after authorities said one Covid case had been linked to the local pork supply chain.
Also, Guangzhou, China’s fourth-biggest city by economic output on Thursday, October 27, sealed up more streets and neighbourhoods and kept people in their homes deeming areas as high-risk i.
In Xining, capital of Qinghai province, social media posts show people complaining food shortages and price inflation for essential goods.
“To reduce the risk of transmission, some vegetable and fruit stores have been closed and put under quarantine,” said a Xining government official on Wednesday.
In Zhengzhou, there was an outbreak at a factory that employs about 300,000 people and is known as the largest producer of iPhones in the world.
Chinese media CCTV, Foxconn Technology Group, which runs the facility, acknowledged the flare-up on Wednesday but said “operation and production … is relatively stable”.
“Health and safety measures for employees (are) being maintained,” the Taiwanese electronics maker said, adding that it was “providing the necessary guarantees for livelihoods, including material supplies, psychological comfort and responsive feedback”.
The company did not specify how many staff were affected by the outbreak but said it was a “small number” and that unsubstantiated online rumours of tens of thousands of infections were “patently false”.
“At present, the epidemic prevention work in Zhengzhou is progressing steadily, and the impact … is controllable,” the statement said.
800k in lockdown due to 25 cases per day. Horrendous. #WuhanLockdown https://t.co/VcU1KSG2YK
— Craig Campbell (@craig_c83) October 27, 2022