Photo: The Associated Press
On Friday, a lockdown was ordered in the northeastern city of Changchun in China due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The spike in cases in the 9-million-strong city was attributed to the omicron variant.
Only one family member is permitted to go outside to buy necessities every two days, while the rest of the family stays home. In addition, all residents must undergo three rounds of mass testing. Non-essential businesses have also been closed while transportation has been suspended.
These series of lockdowns, including Yuchen in the eastern province of Shandong with 500,000 people, indicate China’s continuing draconian approach to the pandemic it has enforced in the last two years. This is despite the fact that authorities initially planned to implement more targeted measures.
Local transmission of 397 cases was reported on Friday, with 98 of them found in Jilin Province surrounding Changchun. Changchun is the center of China’s auto industry.
The entire province records over 1,100 cases since the outbreak struck last week.
Seventy-eight total cases were reported within Changchun itself after two cases were reported on Friday. With China’s “zero tolerance” approach to the pandemic, authorities have pledged to lock down any community where even just one or two cases are detected.
A partial lockdown and suspension of travel links was ordered for the city of Jilin after another 93 cases were confirmed.
A cluster of infections was reported on Jilin Agricultural Science and Technology University campus, which resulted in the officials of the university being fired. Students had also complained on social media that COVID-positive patients were being confined in poor conditions in school libraries and other buildings.
There are 74 confirmed cases registered by the school. State broadcaster CCTV reported that it has transferred more than 6,000 people to quarantine.
Students in hazmat suits lining up as they wait for their transfer were shown in aerial images.