More Chinese Cities To Impose Lockdown To Show Loyalty To Xi: Report

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Covid: Thirty-three Chinese cities are currently under partial or full lockdowns, reports said. (File)

Beijing:

Ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the entire country seems to join the lockdown as party workers and government officials rush to eradicate infections at all costs in order to show loyalty in the final countdown to President Xi Jinping’s expected third term.

While the major parts of the world are enjoying their everyday life, China is still stuck with COVID “Zero Policy”, The Hong Kong Post (HKP) reported.

Thirty-three cities are currently under partial or full lockdowns, reported CNN citing Chinese financial magazine Caixin. Experts say more cities are likely to be added in the coming weeks.

Experts feel that if the large-scale epidemic breaks out, it may damage the image of the Chinese Communist Party and affect President Xi Jinping’s hopes to go for a third term.

Officials in Shenzhen ordered the City Centre to close, suspended subway and bus services in the area, and asked the residents to stay home. Around 90 percent of the city’s 18 million residents had to go through Covid testing. Authorities have vowed to “mobilize all available resources, mobilize all forces and take all possible measures” to stamp out the pandemic, according to HKP.

On September 1, China introduced a lockdown in the 21-million population city of Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan province, to conduct PCR testing among residents, local authorities said on Thursday amid a spike in COVID-19 infections.

This comes after Chinese health authorities reported that 492 new COVID-19 cases were registered in the province from Monday to Wednesday. More than six million cases of COVID-19 infection have been registered since the beginning of the pandemic in mainland China, with 24,806 related deaths.

“The spread of this round of epidemic is fast, with the much-hidden transmission, scattered cases, and a wide range of risk places. The epidemic situation in the whole city is extremely complex and severe,” Yang Xiaoguang, director of the health commission in the city, was quoted as saying by state-run Global Times, at a press conference on Thursday.

The authorities said that only one person in the family may go out daily for groceries, and it is mandatory to have a negative PCR test done within 24 hours, adding that citizens are strictly warned against leaving the city without an urgent necessity.

Some other major Chinese cities have also tightened their restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, including Shenzhen and Guangzhou in the export-heavy Guangdong province, and Dalian, a port city in the northeast.

The combined economic output of these cities accounts for about 7.5 percent of China’s GDP, reported HKP.

In addition, many colleges and universities in Beijing have tightened controls on student activities.

While officials rush to implement the COVID “Zero Policy”, ordinary people are growing increasingly angry at the endless restrictions on daily life and the devastating blow to the economy.

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

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