The closed city of Xi’an in China has strengthened the controls of COVID-19 at the “strictest” level, banning residents from driving cars around town in an effort to control the country’s worst outbreak in 21 months.
The restrictions were further tightened on Monday when Xi’an announced it would impose “the strictest social control measures,” according to a city government social media account.
China has stuck to a “zero COVID” strategy of strict border restrictions, lengthy quarantines and selective closures while Beijing prepares to host thousands of visitors for the February Winter Olympics.
But Xi’an, where 13 million residents are facing their fifth day of home confinement, is at the center of an outbreak that has pushed daily infections nationwide to their highest since March 2020.
The northern city, home to the world-famous terracotta warriors, recorded 150 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to about 650 since Dec. 9.
Vehicles are not allowed on the roads unless they are assisting with disease control work, according to the latest announcement.
Police and health officials will “strictly inspect” the cars, and those who break the rules could face 10 days in detention and a fine of 500 yuan ($ 78).
Two other cities in Shaanxi province also reported a case related to Xi’an, as authorities urged migrant workers in the city not to travel home on the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday.
China reports Delta variant outbreak
The outbreak of the Delta variant rapidly spreading in China It has caused severe symptoms in four patients, including a one-year-old, the state-run Global Times reported.
Since they closed the city last week, authorities have launched several massive rounds of tests and placed nearly 30,000 people in hotel quarantine.
All non-essential businesses have been closed, while each household can only send one person to buy necessities every three days.
The government of Xi’an has been criticized for its perception of poor handling of the outbreak, and China’s disciplinary body said last week that 26 local officials had been punished for failure to prevent the virus.
Authorities have strictly limited movement in and out of the city, with footage from state broadcaster CCTV Sunday showing trucks waiting in line at highway checkpoints as workers in hazmat suits checked health data. on drivers’ mobile phones.
Since the coronavirus first appeared in the central city of Wuhan As of late 2019, China has largely kept the pandemic at bay.
The country has officially recorded only two deaths in more than a year.
In AmericanPost.News we will follow the latest news from China as COVID-19 cases spiked after the Xian outbreak.
Follow us on Google News, Facebook and Twitter to stay informed.