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Chinese cities tighten curbs against widening COVID outbreaks

Chinese cities from Wuhan in central China to Xining in the northwest are doubling down on COVID-19 curbs, sealing up buildings, locking down districts and throwing millions into distress in a scramble to halt widening outbreaks.

October 27, 2022
27 October 2022

BEIJING, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Chinese cities from Wuhan in
central China to Xining in the northwest are doubling down on
COVID-19 curbs, sealing up buildings, locking down districts and
throwing millions into distress in a scramble to halt widening
outbreaks.

China on Thursday reported a third straight day of more than
1,000 new COVID cases nationwide, a modest tally compared with
the tens of thousands per day that sent Shanghai into a
full-blown lockdown earlier this year but enough to trigger more
curbs and restrictions across the country.

China’s coronavirus case load has remained small by global
standards, but its ultra-strict and disruptive containment
measures this year against the highly transmissible Omicron
variant have weighed heavily on the world’s second-largest
economy and rattled financial markets.

Guangzhou, China’s fourth-biggest city by economic
output and the provincial capital of Guangdong, on Thursday
sealed up more streets and neighbourhoods and kept people in
their homes as new areas were deemed high-risk in a COVID
resurgence that persisted into its fourth week.

Wuhan, site of the world’s first COVID-19 outbreak in late
2019, reported around 20 to 25 new infections a day this week.
Nevertheless, local authorities ordered more than 800,000 people
in one district to stay at home until Oct. 30.

Wuhan also suspended the sale of pork in parts of the city,
according to images and posts on social media, after one COVID
case was found that authorities said was linked to the local
pork supply chain.

In Xining, capital of Qinghai province, social media posts
told of food shortages and price inflation for essential goods
as health authorities in the city of 2.5 million people raced to
contain a COVID rebound following the week-long National Day
holiday in early October.

“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.

Other large cities across China including Zhengzhou, Datong
and Xian have implemented new curbs this week to rein in local
outbreaks.

In Beijing, the Universal Resort theme park was shut on
Wednesday after at least one visitor tested positive for the
coronavirus.

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.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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