China locks down Wuhan again as zero-Covid-19 strategy forces millions to stay home

Back to lockdown.

Belmont Lay | October 28, 2022, 06:31 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Multiple cities in China, including Wuhan, have gone back into lockdown, as the country pursues leader Xi Jinping's zero-Covid-19 policy.

The city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first recorded, is seeing more than 800,000 people in one district being made to stay home till Oct. 30, 2022.

One local told Reuters: "We feel numb to it all. We feel more and more numb."

Around 200 lockdowns have been implemented in recent days in communities that have been marked as high or medium risk.

Relatively small number of cases, but lockdown implemented

Residents in different areas are subject to different rules.

The rules vary according to whether they are in a low, medium or high-risk zone.

Wuhan reported up to 25 new infections a day this week, with more than 200 cases over the past two weeks.

The southern Chinese hub of Guangzhou reported 19 new virus cases on Oct. 27.

Earlier in the week, in-person schooling and dining in at restaurants there were already suspended.

The lockdown comes as China reported a third straight day of more than 1,000 cases.

Though seen as relatively small outbreaks, China adheres to a strict zero-Covid policy, where authorities try to wipe out outbreaks.

As of Oct. 24, some 28 cities across the country were implementing some degree of lockdown measures, Reuters reported.

Some 207 million people are affected in regions responsible for almost a quarter of China's GDP, it was also reported.

Public fatigue, economy crippled

The adherence to the policy comes despite increasing public fatigue and anger over lockdowns and travel restrictions.

China's economy has been crippled, with GDP falling by 2.6 per cent in the three months to the end of June from the previous quarter.

No easing of zero-Covid policy

Xi had signalled earlier in October that there would be no easing up of the zero-Covid-19 policy.

He called it a "people's war to stop the spread of the virus".

Lockdowns taking toll in Tibet

People in Tibet have also been affected by the latest lockdown measures, BBC reported.

Footage emerged showing rare large-scale protests against strict zero-Covid-19 measures in the regional capital Lhasa.

Multiple videos on social media showed hundreds demonstrating and clashing with police.

They were said to be mostly ethnic Han Chinese migrant workers.

The city has been under lockdown for nearly three months.

Local officials on Oct. 27 said eight new Covid-19 cases were reported in Lhasa.

Top photo of Wuhan in 2021 via CGTN