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Zero-Covid policy: China imposes lockdown for millions around Beijing

Zero-Covid policy: China imposes lockdown for millions around Beijing

Beijing has doubled down on the COVID-19 policy ahead of the Communist Party's 20th National Congress, expected to take place within the next three months.

Zero-Covid policy: China imposes lockdown for millions around Beijing (Photo: Reuters) Zero-Covid policy: China imposes lockdown for millions around Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

Millions of people living in areas surrounding China's capital Beijing have been directed into lockdown on Tuesday, as authorities double down on efforts to contain COVID-19 ahead of a key ruling Communist Party meeting this year, an AFP report said.

Over 4 million people in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, are instructed to stay home until the end of the week. And more than 13 million in the neighbouring port city of Tianjin are required to undergo mass testing from 6 am (2200 GMT), after 51 mostly mild cases were reported.

Beijing has doubled down on the COVID-19 policy ahead of the Communist Party's 20th National Congress, expected to take place within the next three months.

According to reports, handling the pandemic can be seen as central to the political legacy of President Xi Jinping, who is gearing up for the third term in office. But "the actual Covid situation in China might be worsening, as Omicron has once again spread to large cities", Nomura analyst Ting Lu warned in a research note.

In the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, two districts are under partial lockdown, while the world's biggest electronics market in Huaqiangbei has been shut down with 35 daily cases being reported in the city of over 18 million. "The notice to close came abruptly, we only had a few hours to put our stock into warehouses and lock up," a trader at the Huaqiangbei tech market, who only offered his last name Chen, told AFP.

Cinemas, karaoke bars and parks are closed in Futian until Friday and large public events have been cancelled.

(With agency inputs)

 

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