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China's Xi'an imposes temporary, partial lockdown to fight Omicron flare-up

China's Xi'an imposes temporary, partial lockdown to fight Omicron flare-up

Teachers and students line up for COVID-19 testing at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, on Jan 2, 2022. (File photo: Reuters/China Daily)

BEIJING: The north-western Chinese city of Xi'an said on Friday (Apr 15) that it will temporarily impose a partial lockdown to reduce the movement of its 13 million residents, after reporting dozens of COVID-19 infections this month, as China fights a record wave of cases.

Since March, mainland China has been grappling with the worst COVID-19 outbreak since the virus first emerged in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Though the numbers remain moderate by international comparisons, the latest wave has put huge pressure on China's "dynamic-clearance" policy that aims to leave no infections undetected, with tough measures disrupting supply chains and local economies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that there should be no let-up in virus control and prevention efforts while China would strive to minimise the policy's impact on the economic and social development.

Xi'an, which locked down its residents in December to fight a Delta variant outbreak, found 43 locally transmitted infections in its current Omicron flare-up.

The city responded with curbs on residents' movement from Saturday through to Tuesday, though it stopped short of imposing a full lockdown.

Residents should largely keep their movements within residential compounds, while companies should operate normally but are encouraged to have employees working remotely or living at their workplace, the local government said in a statement.

Between Apr 16 and Apr 19, the city will also suspend dining at restaurants and operations at various entertainment and cultural venues, as well as some face-to-face school sessions. Taxis and cars operating on ride-hailing platforms will also not be allowed to leave the city, according to the statement.

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Source: Reuters/kg

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