Jul 11, 2022 - Health

China imposes partial lockdowns in three cities

Photo of a health worker in a hazmat suit preparing testing samples on a table outside
A health worker prepares to complete nucleic acid tests for residents in Xi'an in China's central Shaanxi province on July 8, 2022. Photo: STR/AFP/China OUT via Getty Images

The Chinese government has ordered partial lockdowns in three new cities as it continues its attempt to contain Omicron, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Xi’an, Lanzhou and Haikou have shut down nonessential businesses and begun mass testing on several million residents.

  • Macau, which China considers a special administrative region with its own governing and economic systems, has also closed nonessential businesses, including its famous casinos. Residents have been asked to stay at home outside of food purchases, per the Times.

The big picture: The new restrictions follow lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing during which millions of people were ordered into confinement.

  • People in Shanghai faced food shortages, disruptions in medical care, and censorship amid China's biggest wave of infections since early 2020, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian writes.
  • Chinese citizens soon began rebelling against the restrictions — videos on social media showed citizens scuffling with health workers and screaming in anger from their apartment windows.
  • Shanghai lifted its lockdown a month ago, but new cases have emerged again, causing concern that officials might return to more extreme measures.

Worth noting: World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that China's "zero-COVID" strategy isn't sustainable given the virus' ever-evolving nature.

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