Chinese Cities Tighten Anti-Virus Curbs Amid Outbreak

By Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin is a Chinese expatriate living in New Zealand. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2009, with a focus on China-related topics.
April 28, 2022 Updated: April 28, 2022

Omicron cases have been breaking out in cities across China, including the capital Beijing, leading to residents fearing they will have to undergo a draconian zero-COVID lockdown as seen in Shanghai.

Local authorities have tightened anti-COVID restrictions over Beijing, the capital cities of Zhejiang Province and Shandong Province, and Yiwu city, a critical commodities hub.

As of Thursday, it is understood that 44 cities are under either a full or partial lockdown, reported western media CNN and Japanese investment bank Nomura.

From April 22 to 25, Omicron cases shot up in Beijing, roughly half of which were found in the Chaoyang, which is one of the city’s 16 districts. With a population of  3.45 million, the district identified more than 1,200 close contacts and designated 14 containment areas, according to data from the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.

Massive nucleic acid testing was being conducted for people living and working in the district from April 25 onwards and will continue every two days until April 29.

Epoch Times Photo
People wait in line for nucleic acid tests to detect COVID-19 next to a poster for vaccinations at a makeshift testing site in the Central Business District in Chaoyang in Beijing, China on April 27, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

On April 26 the local authorities started testing most of the city’s 21 million residents, stoking fears that a citywide lockdown was imminent.

News of the outbreak in Bejijng and escalating anti-virus measures caused some in the city to panic out of fear that a Shanghai-style lockdown was on its way.

Many residents in Chaoyang, flooded supermarkets buying vegetables, meat, and all kinds of necessities. Images of empty shelves and long queues for checkouts were seen on social media.

A Shanghai netizen’s lockdown experience titled “11 points of blood experience” have been widely circulated in Beijing as a lockdown survival guide that includes advice on how to stock up on food and other essentials.

But Beijing resident Liu Xin, a China Global Television Network anchorwoman, expressed the opposite opinion to official media that touts Beijing has a sufficient “supply of necessities. ”

Liu tweeted photos on April 24 taken in a city supermarket with accompanying text that said: “Beijing’s turn. But we are getting ready. I stocked up too, for the first time in two years. Let the tough times come.”

The post has since been deleted but a copy of it is below.

Liu Xin, the anchorwoman of China Global Television Network twitter post before it was scrubbed

Besides Beijing, Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province in eastern China, commenced city-wide nucleic acid testing April 24 to 27.

Two cities in Zhejiang Province also saw a surge in cases.

Hangzhou City

Gongshu District of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, on April 19 reportedly found a cluster of infections, with an average latent period of only 2.67 days, the “fastest spread” of an outbreak in the city, according to China News on April 24.

The report said that infections spread to five urban areas with “a possibility of further dissemination” due to the unknown source and potential transmission of the disease to schools and other crowded places.

Epoch Times Photo
The Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Tennis Centre, a venue of the 19th Asian Games, in Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang Province on April 1, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

Hangzhou authority strengthened the containment of a three-day nucleic acid test for all staff in three districts under its jurisdiction starting April 23.

After the outbreak in Shanghai, the nearby provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provided some of the housing needed for isolation purposes, with Hangzhou alone, less than 200 km away, exceeding 5,000 rooms.

The 2022 Asian Games—scheduled to be held in Hangzhou in September—are facing the possibility of being postponed, Husain Al-Musallam, general director of the Olympic Council of Asia, told AFP on April 22.

Yiwu city

Epoch Times Photo
Workers make football overtime to process additional football orders from Russian, Brazilian, and other overseas customers at the producing department of Aokai Sports Goods Co., Ltd. on July 5, 2018, in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province of China. (VCG)

Zhejiang Province’s Yiwu city is another one grappling with COVID.

As the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities, Yiwu produces various products that are sold internationally.

On April 21, the Yiwu authority implemented a “three-zone supervision mode” against the pandemic, dividing the city into a contained zone, a monitoring zone, and a precautionary zone.

The contained zone requires an area to be sealed off and residents confined to their homes. The other two zones allow for limited movement of residents.

A Yiwu businessman told The Epoch Times, that for the time being, the contained areas are not large enough to affect the city’s economics but that could change.

“As soon as a positive case emerges, the residential area will become a contained zone. What’s more, the scope of this three-zone mode may change at any time,” he said.

Ellen Wan contributed to this article

Shawn Lin
Shawn Lin is a Chinese expatriate living in New Zealand. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2009, with a focus on China-related topics.