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China locks down the 3rd city, raising the affected level to 20 million yen

A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of the COVID-19 outbreak, bringing the number of people confined to their homes in China to around 20 million.

The closure of Anyang, home to 5.5 million people, was announced late Monday after two cases of the omicron variant were reported. Residents are not allowed out and shops have been ordered to close, except for those selling essentials.

Another 13 million people were locked up in Xi’an for nearly three weeks, and another 1.1 million in Yuzhou for more than a week. It is unclear how long the closure of Anyang will last, as it was announced as a measure to facilitate mass testing of people, which is standard procedure in the identification and isolation strategy. China’s infected people as quickly as possible.

The shutdowns are the widest since the shutdown of Wuhan and most of the rest of Hubei province in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Since then, China’s approach has evolved into one that targets smaller areas affected by outbreaks for containment.

Huang Chun, a Beijing Olympics official in charge of disease control, said organizers were relying on the cooperation of athletes and officials to prevent a possible outbreak. affect participation.

“If simultaneous cluster transmission happens, it will definitely affect the Olympics and the schedule,” Huang said. “The worst-case scenario, if it happens, is not up to human will, so we leave our options open.”

In Hong Kong, city leader Carrie Lam announced the closure of kindergartens and primary schools after reports of infections among students. Schools will be closed before Friday and at least until the Lunar New Year holiday in the first week of February.

The semi-autonomous Chinese city has tightened pandemic-related restrictions in recent days after discovering the omicron variant had spread beyond people arriving from abroad.

The omicron cases in Anyang are believed to be related to two other cases found Saturday in Tianjin. This appears to be the first time omicrons have spread in mainland China beyond people arriving from abroad and those in direct contact with them.

Anyang is an important archaeological site, being the ancient capital of the Shang Dynasty and where the earliest Chinese inscriptions have been found of what is known as a fairy bone.

The city said that non-essential vehicles were banned from the streets in an announcement about the lockdown shared online by state media late Monday. The number of cases remains relatively low, with 58 new cases confirmed between early Monday and 8am on Tuesday.

Tianjin, a major port less than an hour from Beijing by high-speed rail, has only closed affected areas as it conducted mass testing. As of Tuesday afternoon, 97 people had tested positive in the city of 14 million: 49 had symptoms, 15 were asymptomatic and 33 were awaiting further verification.

Xi’an and Yuzhou are both battling the delta variant and neither has reported any omicron cases.

More than 2,000 people have been infected in Xi’an in China’s largest outbreak since the initial outbreak in Wuhan. The ancient capital is a popular tourist stop, home to Terracotta Warrior ruins and also a Samsung computer chip factory.

Authorities have noted the closure has limited the spread, although it has disrupted lives and emergency medical treatment for some. The city reported 13 new cases in the latest 24-hour period, down from more than a hundred cases a day at the height of the outbreak.

https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/china-locks-city-raising-affected-20-million-82192917 China locks down the 3rd city, raising the affected level to 20 million yen

Emma Bowman

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