Xi’an, a city in China with roughly 13 million residents has shut down once again because of a handful of COVID cases. This time, 18 cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.5.2 have been detected.
Apparently, this BA.5.2 mutation is a highly transmissible new Omicron subvariant that is fast dominating the United States and Europe. According to a report by CNN, BA.5.2 is a sub-lineage of BA.5, which is already dominant in the US and appears to escape antibody responses among both people previously infected with Covid-19 and those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted, according to researchers.
On Tuesday, Xi’an officials announced sweeping restrictions that would shut down parts of the city for seven days starting from Wednesday.
Entertainment, sports, and cultural venues, including bars, cinemas, gyms, libraries, and museums, were closed; restaurant dining and large gatherings, from weddings to conferences, were suspended; all places of worship were shut and religious activities banned, city official Zhang Xuedong said at the press conference Tuesday.
Kindergartens and primary and secondary schools were ordered to start summer holidays early, while universities were told to seal their campuses, according to Zhang.
Authorities also locked down nine residential neighborhoods categorized as “high-risk areas,” banning residents from leaving their communities.
“The seven-day temporary control measures are meant to quieten the society down as much as possible, reduce mobility…and the risk of cross-infection,” Zhang said. –CNN
Even the slaves in China are tired of their lives being controlled. During a citywide lockdown back in January, a steady stream of complaints about food shortages, as well as heartbreaking scenes of critical patients – including heavily pregnant women – being denied medical care caused shock and anger across the nation.
Residents are allegedly rushing to leave the city to avoid being locked down and subjected to mass testing and forced quarantines once again. In the city’s Changan district, residents were ordered to undergo mass Covid testing from midnight to 6 a.m. Wednesday. They are only allowed to leave their community, enter public venues and use public transport after taking the tests, according to a government notice.
As of Wednesday, Xi’an has reported 29 local infections.
Meanwhile, in Shanghai, authorities on Tuesday ordered mass testing for 12 of its 16 districts, in response to a handful of new infections linked to a karaoke bar. Shanghai has not ordered another lockdown just yet, but it may not be too far off.