A woman is tested in China, facing new covid outbreaks. Photo: EFE
xian, a historic city of 13 million inhabitants who suffered a month of imprisonment at the end of last year, was placed under “temporary control measures” after detecting 29 infections since Saturday.
Public entertainment venues, including pubs, internet cafes and karaoke bars, have been closed since midnight on Wednesday.
State media showed pictures of Xian residents lined up to take the test after midnight on Tuesday, as authorities insist the city is not on lockdown.
The outbreak of the city is attributed to the BA.5.2 sub-variant of omicronwhich is more transmissible and eludes immunity.
State media showed images of Xi’an residents queuing for testing. Photo: Reuters
the imperial capital
School children went on vacation early, bars and restaurants only serve take-out and, once again, the 13 million inhabitants of the ancient imperial capital that limit their outgoings. “We are in a race against time against the virus,” Zhang Xuedong, deputy director of the Bureau of Outbreak Prevention and Control, said Tuesday night.
Xian is now in his own ninth prevention and control plan and has nine areas classified as high risk Covid-19 and ten areas at medium risk, in which residents must stay at home. The rest of the population is not confined.
Health workers in Xian. Photo: Reuters
“When risk zones are established only for a few cases – says a French professor who fears that with the rebound of Ómicron his holidays on the island of Hainan will be ruined -, it is usually because (the authorities) do not know where the contamination “.
He adds: “At the moment I am not worried about my trip. But I don’t know what the Hainan reception committee will say to the tourists in Xian. who will not even see the sea, Then no thanks. Whenever outbreaks are discovered locally, a race for more restrictions“.
Asterisk on health subscriptions
The surprising thing, continues this professor, “is the discrepancy between the easing measures decreed by the central government a few days ago and the firmness of local authorities who fear being sanctioned. We no longer have asterisks in the health QR codes, but the restrictions of the ‘zero Covid’ policy are in place activates even faster in the slightest case of contagion.
The Asterisk system, a health star passes indicating that a person has passed through a district where cases of infection have been recorded and that, therefore, stigmatizesit was eliminated by the National Health Commission to promote interregional travel.
At the same time, no city wants to risk falling into the same situation as Shanghai and its long lockdown, and local authorities are stepping up checks as new infections appear.
Xian, one of Fr.main cultural tourist destinations, looks forward to the return of tourists this summer. Starting this Wednesday, the museums, including the famous tomb of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang esu The Terracotta Army, They will be temporarily closed.
With the correspondent of RFI China Stéphane Lagarde