China has been pursuing a strategy since last year
zero COVID, which consists of doing everything to limit the occurrence of new cases as much as possible, generally limited to only a few dozen per day.
If these figures may seem derisory compared to those recorded daily in other parts of the world, they are pushing the authorities to redouble their vigilance in the run-up to the Winter Olympics, which will begin on February 4.
Beijing, which hosted the Summer Games in 2008, will become the first city to also host Olympic events in winter.
900 km from the sites, an epidemic rebound has been affecting the city of Xi’an in the north of the country for two weeks, where 52 additional patients were identified on Wednesday.
To prevent the virus from spreading, residents will need to
stay at home unless there is a compelling reason as of midnight Thursday, local authorities said.
However, one person per household is allowed to shop.
every two days, they said in a statement.
non-essential, with the exception of supermarkets, convenience stores and medical establishments, have been ordered to close.
Xi’an is known for its buried terracotta army, located in the mausoleum of China’s first emperor.
The city had already considerably restricted travel and began Tuesday to screen its entire population.
About 90 residential neighborhoods had been preventively placed in isolation, without knowing the number of people affected by this measure.
Before the announcement of the lockdown, the residents of Xi’an had since Wednesday morning to be provided with an authorization to take the train and leave the city, according to public television CCTV.
In the air, more than 85% of flights to and from Xi’an have been canceled, according to the specialist site VariFlight.
Two dead for a year, according to the official report
China, where the first cases of COVID were discovered two years ago, has since largely controlled the outbreak on its soil.
Life has returned to normal since the spring of 2020 and the country has officially recorded only two deaths in more than a year, according to statistics released by the authorities.
At the cost of draconian measures: virtual closure of borders, mandatory long quarantines on arrival, targeted confinements, massive screenings.
Mobile travel tracking applications are also widely used on a daily basis.
However, the country continues to regularly face small sporadic outbreaks, usually contained within a few weeks.
Already in October, several agglomerations had been confined, including the 4 million inhabitants of the metropolis of Lanzhou, in the northwest.
China reported its first case of the highly contagious Omicron variant earlier this month.