Officials in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on Friday announced a lockdown of its 21.2 million residents and four days of citywide testing following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
In a statement which was sighted by Africa Today News, New York Chengdu city officials said city residents must ‘stay home in principle” from 6 p.m. Thursday, while non-essential employees were asked to work from home to combat a new wave of infections. Households will be allowed to send one person per day to shop for necessities, provided they can show a negative test from within the past 24 hours.
The statement went on to say all residents would be tested for the infection between Thursday and Sunday. They were urged to not leave the city unless “absolutely necessary.’
It was not clear how long the lockdown would last. The Reuters news agency reported most of the restrictions were intended to last a few days at this point, although two provincial cities in northern China extended curbs slightly beyond initial plans.
Similar measures have seen millions of people confined to their homes in the northeastern city of Dalian, as well as Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province that borders the capital city, Beijing.
State media report the economic center of Shenzhen, the most populous district in Baoan, and tech hub Nanshan, suspended large events and indoor entertainment for a few days and ordered stricter checks of digital health credentials for people entering residential compounds.
In another report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday announced that a million people had died from Covid-19 in 2022, describing it as a ‘tragic milestone’ despite all the measures put in place to prevent the deaths.
Africa Today News, New York reports that no fewer than 6.45 million deaths have so far been reported to the WHO since the late days of 2019 when the virus was first detected in China.
However, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed doubts on whether the world was really on top of the pandemic, this far in.