China locks down four million people as Delta variant drives infections
- China has announced a strict lockdown after reporting 29 COVID cases
- People have been asked to stay at home and not venture out except for emergencies
- China has followed a zero-COVID strategy since the beginning of the pandemic
China locked down large parts of the country today as it sees a surge in COVID-19 infections. Nearly four million people are under lockdown and have been ordered to stay at home except in case of emergencies. Beijing has continuously maintained strict vigilance on infection outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic. The current curbs come after China reported 29 new infections, including six cases in Lanzhou, the provincial capital of the northwestern Gansu province.
The curbs include strict restrictions on entry and exit of residents with movement strictly limited to supplies of essentials and medical treatment. China has managed to vaccinate large sections of its population; however, the current outbreak is being attributed to the spread of the Delta variant. China has reported 198 COVID-19 cases since October 17.
Beijing is taking strong steps as health officials warn of more infections coming to surface as testing is ramped up over the next few days. The recent surge has been linked to a group of domestic tourists. Consequently, access to tourist sites have been curbed in Beijing which reported three cases on Tuesday. Residents have also been asked to not leave the city unless necessary.
The lockdown has also extended to localised housing compounds in Beijing. A marathon which was expected to see nearly 30,000 runners has been cancelled. China is employing these strict curbs even when its COVID numbers are far less than most countries. This is because, China has adopted a zero-case strategy throughout the pandemic. Moreover, China is also preparing for the Winter Olympics which are just over 100 days away.
On Tuesday, China’s Xinhua news agency said that party secretary of Ejin Banner in the northern Inner Mongolia region has been removed from his position “due to poor performance and implementation in epidemic prevention and control”.