China locks down 13 million people due to latest COVID-19 surge

China shut down a city of 13 million people on Thursday in a bid to extinguish a tiny Covid outbreak and pursue its zero-case goal, as other nations around the globe battle increasing infection surges driven by Omicron.

On Thursday, China locked down the northern city of Xi’an, which is home to the Terracotta Warriors. Omicron has not been reported in Xi’an and only dozens of the less infectious Delta cases have been detected in the city of 13 million people in recent days.

The Chinese government, which has consistently during the pandemic pursued a zero-case strategy, reacted with urgency and ordered all residents to stay indoors. Only one person per household can leave home every two days to buy necessities, while non-essential businesses are closed.

“I think it is necessary to have the lockdown,” a Xi’an resident, who wanted to be identified only as Yuan, told AFP. “It is a countermeasure which we should do as early as possible, it’s really an effective way.”

China has recorded fewer than 5,000 Covid deaths throughout the pandemic.

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