52 new cases of COVID-19 were traced back to the city of Xi’an by Chinese authorities on Tuesday. After having found the cluster, authorities imposed strict lockdowns on approximately 13 million residents, that prevents them from leaving their homes, although they will have groceries delivered to their doorstep. If they wish to leave their respective homes for the purposes of grocery shopping, then one designated individual from each household will be allowed to do so, every 2 days. The other exception given to these residents at this time is that they will be allowed to leave their homes in the unfortunate event that they have to attend to a medical emergency situation. This couldn’t have happened at a more unfortunate time as the Lunar New Year was expected to result in a mass rush in this city. Moreover, the 2022 Winter Games was to commence in the capital Beijing on the 4th of Feb, 2022.
This city is known the world over as it is home to the famed 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warriors sculptures. The first case was detected at a quarantine hotel on the 9th of Dec. Experts then stated that the virus made its way through the community there, infecting more. Authorities even believe that this virus came from an inbound flight from Pakistan, however, no active cases of the Omicron variant have been detected thus far.
Authorities acted swiftly, by conducting mas testing centers for the entire city. They even suspended schools from operating. Ever since the 9th of Dec., authorities have indexed a total of 206 cases, with 62 cases being new locally transmitted cases, making this the highest daily figure for the city of Xi’an in the month of December.
Since this statement was made, numerous families made their way to supermarkets to stock up on essential goods, as per the reports from the state-run newspaper, the Global Times. The more worrying news is that over 30,000 individuals may have come in contact with an infected individual. Justifying the strict imposition of a blanket lockdown.
Xi’an is about one level from being classified under the highest lockdown category of a “sealed area.” This form of categorization has normally been assigned to certain areas, but never to an entire city. In spite of having distributed over 2.7 billion doses of homegrown vaccines, Chinese authorities have struggled to manage sporadic infectious outbreaks of this virus.