The huge city of Xi’an in northwest China on Tuesday became the latest to impose lockdowns amid the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Xi’an announced a seven-day period of “closed management” to contain an outbreak in the Zhaohui Renewable Resources Exchange Market – a market where excess wind and solar energy capacity is bought and sold under the Byzantine rules of China.
Xi’an was placed under strict confinement from December 2021 to January 2022 after a “Covid cluster” swelled to encompass more than 2,100 reported cases, causing some anxiety among Chinese officials ahead of the prestigious Beijing Winter Olympics.
Xi’an’s horrific year-end lockdown has become a source of public anger across China, as officials have been accused of bungling the process and leaving citizens without adequate supplies of food and medicine. The Chinese Communist government implemented strict censorship to stifle complaints from the starving captive citizens of Xi’an. When residents began to die for lack of medical care, the national government fired some Xi’an officials to satisfy the angry public.
According to the state leadership GlobalTimes the description, ‘Closed management’ feels like another lockdown for many of the city’s 13 million residents, though at least they haven’t been taken prisoner at home yet:
For seven days starting Wednesday, July 6, Xi’an will suspend on-site dining at restaurants and all group gatherings, including religious activities. Entertainment, cultural and sports venues will close for a week, including internet cafes, KTVs, bars, chess halls, cinemas, gymnasiums, libraries and museums.
Kindergartens, primary schools and colleges will start the summer holidays earlier than planned. People with a green health code can work from offices.
The “green health code” refers to the mandatory smartphone app that China uses to monitor citizens’ coronavirus testing status. The application of the health code was recently abused for political purposes, falsely assigning “red” codes and forcing people into self-quarantine to prevent them from joining protest marches.
As usual with Chinese coronavirus propaganda, the world times insisted the number of infections triggering the lockdown was surprisingly low – only 18 cases were detected over the weekend, most of them “waste recycling workers from Zhaohui Market” – and the culprit was a sub-variant of the omicron coronavirus that is said to have “came from outside of China, although the source is unclear.
“We must race against both time and the virus … to guard against all possible risks and hidden dangers, and decisively avoid an explosion of community spread,” said city official Zhang Xuedong. said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“The Omicron BA.5 subvariant is even more transmissible and spreads faster than the previous BA2.2 subline, and it is more susceptible to antibody evasion,” Zhang said. said.
“It’s as if they were addicted to confinements. What else can they even do? a Xi’an resident groaned on social media when the new measures were imposed.
More such cries of dismay were heard from Shanghai this week, as the once bustling city that has become a lockdown horror story has been submitted to a new round of mandatory coronavirus testing. Mass testing is usually the only warning Chinese citizens receive before their leaders impose brutal quarantines on them.
Beijing too order Wednesday, new rounds of mass testing for some districts. The nation’s capital has been partially shut down several times during the pandemic, but has never been subjected to the kind of grueling procedures seen in Xi’an or Shanghai.