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Covid lockdown extended in Chinese city

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BEIJING: The Chinese megacity of Chengdu has extended a Covid-19 lockdown in most areas, maintaining curbs that have ground business to a halt and confined the majority of its 21 million residents to their homes.

China is the last major economy welded to a zero-Covid strategy, tamping down virus flare-ups through a combination of snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines.

Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan province, has been effectively under lockdown for a week since reporting several hundred Covid cases.

The measure was expected to be lifted on Wednesday, but the city government said in a notice that “the entire city will continue to deeply push forward our assault for zero community spread”. Authorities would “strive hard for a week to realise the goal of zero community transmission in the whole city”, the government added.

“The fruits of the whole city’s anti-epidemic measures are beginning to become apparent, but the risk of community transmission still exists in some areas,” it said.

All residents under lockdown will be tested every day, and each household will be permitted to send out one person per day to purchase groceries and other supplies, according to the notice.

Chengdu logged 116 new local infections on Thursday, more than half of which showed no symptoms, according to figures from the provincial health commission.

Confined to their housing complexes, some residents were unable to flee when a strong earthquake in a nearby part of Sichuan reverberated through the city earlier this week, locals said.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2022


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