Locals in a nearby city said in interviews with The Epoch Times that they were under lockdown, though authorities did not publicly announce the decision.
Hebei is the province that surrounds China’s capital of Beijing. Many migrant workers in Beijing come from Hebei. Beijing’s food and other critical supplies are also mostly sourced from the province.
Shijiazhuang is the capital of Hebei.
On Thursday evening, the city’s vice mayor Meng Xianghong announced that all residents and vehicles will not be permitted to leave the city. Residents and vehicles of Gaocheng district—designated by authorities as a “high-risk” region for virus spread and home to 790,100—were further restricted and not allowed to leave the borders of their home district.
The day prior, the city government had announced that a full lockdown would begin on Thursday, but still allowed people to leave by plane, train, and private cars if they presented a negative nucleic acid test result that was issued within the past 72 hours.
The Hebei Health Commission announced that 120 people were infected with the CCP virus on Wednesday.
Chinese authorities have announced few domestic infections since late March 2020, despite local citizens reporting severe outbreaks in different cities and regions throughout the past year. The majority of new infections publicized in recent days came from Hebei Province.
In turn, most of the reported Hebei cases came from Shijiazhuang.
Some residents told The Epoch Times that they were locked down at home since Jan. 2.
“This disease is spreading very quickly,” said Lin Guo (pseudonym), a villager in Xiaoguozhuang of Gaocheng district. “Many of my fellow villagers felt sick and were diagnosed at hospitals,” he told the Chinese-language Epoch Times in a phone interview.
On Jan. 7, residents in different counties and cities within Xingtai municipality—which has 8.01 million residents—said that their towns were also locked down, though authorities didn’t announce the policy.
“All stores and shops in our city haven’t been allowed to open since Jan. 5, and goods delivery has stopped,” said Ms. Li, a business owner in Nangong, a small city administered by the Xingtai government.
In a video that a resident of Wei county shared with The Epoch Times, police officers told car drivers that Xingtai was locked down and all vehicles may not leave the city.
The northeastern cities of Shenyang, Dalian, and Heihe, also with surges in COVID-19 cases, remained under lockdown, while Xinjiang in northwestern China reported a new domestic infection. Last November, the region had a local outbreak whereby residents suspected local authorities were covering up infection data.