With just 3 virus cases, China reported 1.2 . closed the city

The announcement started with three cases coming to the fore in the last few days. (file)

Beijing: More than a million people were being confined to their homes in a city in central China on Tuesday after three asymptomatic coronavirus cases were recorded in the country’s latest mass lockdown.

Beijing has adopted a “zero COVID” approach with strict border restrictions and targeted lockdowns since the virus first emerged.

But the strategy has come under pressure with a series of recent local outbreaks and with just a month to go until the Winter Olympics.

Yuzhou, a city in Henan province with a population of about 1.17 million people, announced that from Monday night all citizens are required to stay home to control the spread of the virus.

The announcement started with three cases coming to the fore in the last few days.

According to a statement posted on Monday, people in the central zone “should not go out”, while all communities will set up watchdogs and gates “to strictly implement epidemic prevention and control measures”.

The city had already announced that it was halting bus and taxi services and closing shopping malls, museums and tourist attractions.

China on Tuesday reported another 175 new Covid-19 cases, including five in Henan province and eight more in a separate cluster linked to a garment factory in the eastern city of Ningbo.

Although reported cases are lower than anywhere else in the world, new coronavirus infections in recent weeks have not been at a high in the country since March 2020.

On Tuesday, 95 fresh cases were reported in Xi’an – a historic city of 13 million people in neighboring Shaanxi province – which has been under lockdown for nearly two weeks.

Xi’an has registered more than 1,600 cases since December 9, although the numbers have started to decline in the past few days compared to last week’s figures.

Local officials in China for failing to contain the virus outbreak are often fired or punished, prompting a series of tough responses from provincial governments as they act quickly on any matter. Try to seal.

In Xi’an, two senior Communist Party officials in the northern city were removed from their posts because of their “insufficient rigor in preventing and controlling the outbreak”.

And last month, China’s disciplinary body announced that dozens of officials had been punished for failure to contain the outbreak in the city.

The spike comes as Beijing prepares to host the Winter Olympics next month.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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