As the omicron version surges, China locks down a southern metropolis.

According to health officials, 135 instances had been documented in the city as of Tuesday, with at least two of them being omicron.

Of response to an increase in COVID-19 cases attributable at least in part to the omicron variant, China has instructed residents of the southern city of Baise to stay at home and suspended transportation links.

Classes have been canceled, non-essential companies have been shut down, and citizens have been required to undergo mass testing. Restaurants can only serve take-out orders. The sole reason traffic lights have been turned red is to warn cars to stay at home.

According to health officials, 135 instances had been documented in the city as of Tuesday, with at least two of them being omicron.

In keeping with China’s “zero-tolerance” response to the pandemic, the city has been placed under lockdown. The policy necessitates the implementation of stringent measures, even if they are unpopular.

Preventing breakouts during the present Beijing Winter Olympic Games is a big concern. On Tuesday, no new cases were recorded in the Chinese capital.

According to organizers, more than 30 competitors at the Beijing Olympics have been placed in isolation facilities after testing positive for the coronavirus. The average length of time spent in isolation is seven days.

Baise has a population of roughly 1.4 million people in the city, with another 3 million living in the surrounding rural area near the Vietnamese border.

According to state media, customs clearance at the Longbang and Pingmeng crossing points was delayed, causing further disruptions to cross-border trade that have already resulted in significant losses for Vietnamese fruit farmers who rely on the Chinese market for a significant portion of their revenue.

The first cases in Baise were reported on Saturday, near the end of the Lunar New Year holiday, when many Chinese return home after traveling long distances.

The government advised people to stay put for the third year in a row to avoid a big spread, but such requests had only a minor impact on the number of journeys taken.

Despite regional outbreaks, China has mainly contained the epidemic through lockdowns, mass testing, case tracing, mask mandates, and other stringent measures.

According to Our World in Data, about 85 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, while reservations have been raised about the efficacy of Chinese vaccines, particularly against the omicron strain.

The persistent development of outbreaks despite a high vaccination rate, according to Chinese health officials, supports the sustained application of “zero-tolerance” measures and the quarantining of tourists arriving from overseas.

Lockdowns placed on millions of inhabitants of northern and central cities in December and January have been lifted at the same time.


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