China plunges 800,000 people into lockdown as COVID-19 cases begin ramping up

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China has plunged some 800,000 in a district in Wuhan back into coronavirus lockdown following a rise of just 20–25 new infections a day this week. Wuhan — the city in the central Hubei province where COVID-19 first emerged back in 2019 — joins Guangzhou in the south and Xining in the west as the latest targets of Beijing’s zero-tolerance approach to suppressing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In fact, China presently has varying degrees of lockdowns imposed on 27 of its cities, measures that are affecting the lives of a whopping 210 million people.

As one 38-year-old Wuhan resident told Reuters: “I don’t know what to do.

“If we can still survive living like this then I suppose that’s what we’ll do.

“When we see these news stories about COVID, we now feel a bit numb.

“We feel numb to it all. We feel more and more numb.”

The latest figures out of China are modest compared to the tens of thousands of new daily cases seen in Shanghai back in April — a situation which strained the city’s health and quarantine facilities leading to the controversial relocation of the sick to surrounding areas.

Despite this, however, Beijing shows no signs of compromising on its approach to the virus, bringing in new restrictions across the country as the highly-transmissible Omicron variant continues to spread.

In the provincial capital of Guangzhou, for example, a surge in Covid cases is now entering its fourth consecutive week — with today seeing more areas deemed high risk and being sealed off in an effort to stop the spread.

Local resident Lily Li, 28, told Reuters: “Many of my friends and coworkers have been under lockdown at home.”

She added: “The situation is still unstable. Many places are under lockdown. Classes have stopped and entertainment venues have been suspended, too.

“The gym that I often go to has also been closed.”

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