China’s central Henan Province ordered Yuzhou City into lockdown on Jan. 3, 2022, after two asymptomatic COVID-19 cases were detected on Jan. 2 and a third on Jan. 3.
Yuzhou is the second city, after Xi’an, now under the most stringent closure measures in China, as residents are banned from leaving home except for COVID-19 testing amid the recent outbreak.
China’s northwestern city of Xi’an is in one of the toughest lockdowns in the world. Thirteen million residents have been confined to their homes or in collective isolation facilities on the outskirts of the city since Dec. 9, 2021, when a positive COVID-19 case was detected.
Another city in Henan, the provincial capital Zhengzhou, recorded 26 new cases on Jan. 6. Panic buying immediately started in Zhengzhou, with online videos showing people crowding into supermarkets and grocery shops for necessities.
Yuzhou: A City in Lockdown
According to Sohu, a popular Chinese news portal, Yuzhou, a small county-level city, has recorded 55 positive COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 6. The Epoch Times could not verify the authenticity of the number due to the CCP’s routine censorship and cover-up of information.
The city entered lockdown on Jan. 3, when it reported its third case.
All of its 1.2 million residents have been ordered to stay at home. The public transportation system has been closed. Private vehicles are not allowed on the roads or streets. All businesses, except supermarkets that provide daily necessities, have been shut down.
Videos posted on Chinese social media show police vehicles driving in the empty city, a loudspeaker repeatedly playing warnings: Residents go back home immediately. Any vehicle found in the street will be confiscated and the driver’s license will be suspended.
On the evening of Jan. 5, Chen Tao, the CCP’s party chief of Yuzhou, admitted at a press conference that the source of the outbreak has not been identified.
Zhengzhou: Residents Panic Buying
Zhengzhou has over 12 million residents, who learned a hard lesson about shortage of necessities during the July flooding and the pandemic outbreak that followed last year. Online videos show masses of people streaming into supermarkets to buy food and essentials while they can.
On July 6, the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times interviewed the manager of a chain supermarket in Zhengzhou.
The boss, who wants to be anonymous for safety, told The Epoch Times that there were many people rushing to get groceries and household basics. He said more panic buying occurred in one of his stores in an isolated neighborhood.
“Many people did not store up last year during the pandemic, so they have learned their lesson and flocked in for food,” said the anonymous boss.
“At the moment, there are insufficient quantities of meat and eggs in the isolated areas,” he said, “It is always good to be prepared in case isolation expands to more areas and lasts a long time.”
The manager of a supermarket in an area that is not isolated told The Epoch Times that he also saw many customers coming to buy food.
“Many people in our area rushed into my store to get food in the past couple of days, as our neighboring areas have been locked down,” he said, “If traffic is blocked, we won’t be able to replenish our stocks.”
A provincial news website reported on Jan. 5 that four supermarkets and three farmers’ markets in two locked down districts have been shut down.
Hong Ning and Sophia Lam contributed to the article.