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23 Dec 2021

China's City of Xian Locks Down 13 Million Residents as COVID Cases Rise

China's City of Xian Locks Down 13 Million Residents as COVID Cases Rise

The Index Today

Rising COVID-19 infections in China's city of Xian have caused lockdown of the 13 million residents on Thursday, many people were seen queued in the cold to get their noses swabbed at COVID testing sites. The daily count of domestically transmitted infections has increased for six straight days since Dec. 17, with confirmed symptoms in the northwestern city.

Reports confirmed that no Omicron infection has yet been found in Xian. That takes the tally of local cases to more than 200 over the period from Dec. 9 to 22, smaller than many outbreaks outside China.

Currently, there is an implemented rule that those who want to leave the city must test negative before departure and get clearance from employers or community-level authorities. The city has suspended long-distance bus services and banned out of town trips by taxis and cars hired on ride-hailing platforms, posting police at highway exits to dissuade trips authorities consider unnecessary.

Starting today, each household may send only one person to shop for necessities every two days, while others may not leave unless they have essential jobs.

Video images livestreamed by traffic police on social media showed some stretches of highway in Xian were nearly deserted and looks like a ghost town.

©Photo: ZhengTingpeng/ GettyImages