China Locks Down City After 3 COVID Cases Detected

Yuzhou's 1.1M residents told to stay indoors
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2022 5:07 PM CST
Another Chinese City Now Under Strict Lockdown
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, cars drive down a nearly empty street in Xi'an in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021.   (Shao Rui/Xinhua via AP)

(Newser) – China has placed another city under near-total lockdown—this time after detecting just three asymptomatic COVID cases. The 1.1 million residents of Yuzhou in Henan province were ordered late Monday to stay indoors and not attempt to leave town, reports Reuters. Authorities in the city around 430 miles southwest of Beijing said the number of cases, and their source is still unknown. "To curb and quash the epidemic within the shortest amount of time is a high-priority political task facing all officials and people in the city," local officials said, per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Vehicles without official clearance have been banned from Yuzhou's roads and most people are barred from leaving their homes unless they are buying essential supplies. In Xi'an, a city of 13 million that has been locked down since Dec. 22, restrictions are even tighter. People there are now only allowed to leave their homes for COVID testing, and some residents say they are running out of food.

With the Winter Olympics now just weeks away, Beijing appears intent on maintaining its zero COVID strategy at any cost. The country's leader believe "anything less would cause illness and death on a scale that would be politically, economically and socially unacceptable," writes Robin Brant at the BBC. "The ruling Communist Party took much of the credit for containing the virus early on—after it had spread beyond China's borders—and diverting from that would undermine its credibility," he writes. (Read more China stories.)

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