China locks down Yuzhou to control spread of COVID-19

China has imposed a lockdown in Yuzhou, the second city in China to be ordered into a complete lockdown following the discovery of three cases of the Omicron coronavirus disease.

Yuzhou has a population of 1.1 million people.

Immediately following the ordered lockdown, the city’s transportation system came to a halt, while shops selling staple items were shuttered.

This comes following the lockdown imposed in Xi’an, resulting in 13 million people being forced to remain homebound since December 23rd.

Such stringent steps are being taken as the Spring Festival, as well as the Beijing Winter Olympics, will soon be held.

As the Winter Olympics begins in February, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the foreign ministry, made assurances that the Chinese have readied effective safety mechanisms.

In keeping with the latest procedures, several thousand arriving Olympics staffers, as well as volunteers, have been housed in a bubble since January 4 to isolate them from those outside, as a means of thwarting the transmission of the Omicron variant.

Participating teams and those from global media outlets that have begun arriving to cover the Winter Olympics will also be placed into isolation in the bubble.

The bubbles are part of China’s COVID-zero strategy, under which priority is being accorded to put an end to the coronavirus disease, as opposed to the population coexisting with the infection, which has persisted for the past 24 months.

“(The lockdown was imposed) to curb and quash the epidemic within the shortest amount of time, and is a high-priority political task (for people and governmental staffers),” said a spokesman in the Chinese city of Yuzhou, some 700 hundred kilometres south-west of Beijing.

The local population has been advised to stay home, except for those assisting in efforts to stem the viral transmission.

For nearly two weeks, a lockdown has been in force in the Xian, which reported 95 cases of people who exhibited symptoms after having contracted the virus on January 3, declining from the highest count of over 150 daily cases when the epidemic reached its peak, according to Reuters