13 Million People Under Lockdown in City in Northwest China Due to COVID-19

By Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.
December 26, 2021 Updated: December 26, 2021

People in the northwest Chinese city of Xi’an have been struggling to get food and supplies since authorities ordered a lockdown of the city of 13 million people on Dec. 23 due to a spike in cases of COVID-19.

All residents in the city have been put through another round of COVID-19 testing, while 90 residential communities have been closed off. Some local residents, forced to stay at home, told the Chinese language Epoch Times that they hadn’t even had time to stock up on food before the lockdown.

Xi’an has seen stealthy transmission and community spread during the current surge of COVID-19, and the illness has spread to other parts of the province, according to Liu Feng, director of the Shaanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-six local officials have been held accountable and have been punished for failing to stem the outbreak.

Local officials ordered that, as of midnight of Dec. 23, each family can only send one member out every two days to buy basic daily necessities. Residents “must not leave the city unless necessary,” and those who wish to travel need to apply for a permit. All nonessential businesses are closed.

Since Dec. 23, the official website of Xi’an Xianyang International Airport has shown the status of all domestic flights in and out of the city as “canceled.” Railway and highway transportation in and out of Xi’an has also been suspended.

The Epoch Times has obtained a video showing residents on top of buildings in Xi’an shouting for help after running out of food and other supplies amid the lockdown.

“Because they didn’t give any notice in advance, there was no food at all at home,” Wang Gang (a pseudonym), a tenant in Xi’an’s Changfengyuan Community, told the Chinese language Epoch Times. “I bought some instant noodles from the store next to the building in the afternoon, which lasted for two days. On the third day, the store owner said the shelves were empty and all the goods were gone. The owner was taken away for quarantine last night.

“Later, I posted a message about it on Weibo. This matter was only resolved a little bit, and now things can be sent in the community. But the price of vegetables has doubled or tripled.”

Wang was worried that “if someone were seriously ill during the lockdown, then what would happen?” And because the building’s door was locked from the outside with an iron chain, in the event of a fire, the people locked inside wouldn’t be able to escape.

Yu Jia (a pseudonym), another tenant in the Changfengyuan Community, told the Chinese language Epoch Times that residents were caught off guard because they weren’t notified about the lockdown in advance, and she didn’t have anything to eat all morning. When she became really hungry, she went downstairs to ask the security guard how the tenants were supposed to get food, and the guard told her the residents needed to solve that problem themselves.

“No one in the property management cares about what happens to us. They just posted a QR code and the phone number of the convenience store at the gate of the community. I called the convenience store and bought some instant noodles and bread. Vegetables were only available at the gate of the community in the morning after the third day, but the prices of the vegetables are extremely expensive,” she said.

Gu Xiaohua and Gao Miao contributed to the report.

Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.