Chinese authorities announced a tightening of lockdown measures in the country’s northeast on Sunday, just as the southern metropolis of Shenzhen was preparing to lift its restrictions.
The The Asian country registered 4,053 new cases of COVID this Sunday, two-thirds of them in Jilin, a province bordering North Korea and Russia.
The inhabitants of the homonymous city of Jilin, of 4.5 million inhabitants, will not be able to leave their homes for three days from midnight on Monday, the mayor’s office said.
The city of Changchun, confined since the beginning of the month, announced for its part that it will tighten its measures for three days and now only medical personnel and other people linked to the pandemic will be able to leave.
Since the lockdown began on March 11, Changchun’s 9 million residents were allowed to go out once every two days to buy food.
Last Sunday, the technological metropolis of Shenzhen, located at the gates of Hong Kong, confined its 17.5 million inhabitants.
However, the southern city, which is home to thousands of factories from big names in technology, has partially lifted some restrictions.
Public transport will fully resume from Monday, as well as administrations and part of the economic activity, health authorities said on Sunday.
China, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019, had largely contained the pandemic using strict lockdown measures since early 2020, but the omicron variant has caused numerous outbreaks across the country in recent months.
The new measures come after China recorded its first two Covid-19 deaths in more than a year on Saturday.
Tens of millions of people are currently in lockdown across the country and authorities are working to free up hospital beds amid fears the outbreak could put the health system under strain.
Jilin province, which recorded thousands of cases last week, has built eight temporary hospitals and two quarantine centers to deal with the outbreak.
In addition, the northern city of Tangshan, home to China’s steel industry, imposed a 24-hour traffic ban on Sunday to curb the spread of the virus and test its 7.7 million residents.
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