A lockdown has been imposed in many of China’s main manufacturing towns, effectively stopping production of Toyota vehicles and Apple iPhones. In Shanghai, theatres, cinemas, and a large number of eateries have shuttered their doors. The northeastern province of Jilin, with a population of 24 million people, forbade its inhabitants from leaving the region or moving between cities on Monday.”I’m going to remain at home for the benefit of the general public in order to avoid causing havoc in society.”
Even as governments in the Western world are beginning to relax or abolish mask requirements and other restrictions, Chinese authorities are putting in place some of their most restrictive regulations yet, according to reports. This is due in large part to the fact that China cannot afford to loosen its economic restraints.
The Chinese government has expressed worry over the lower immunisation rates among the country’s older citizens, which is compared to the rest of the world. In addition, as compared to its population, the nation has much fewer critical care hospital beds than other developed countries. As a result, hospitals and medical facilities in China’s vast rural regions are often substandard, and a big epidemic might swiftly overwhelm existing facilities.
The United States and other Western nations have seen far greater rates of illness and mortality over the previous two years than China, and their rates continue to be significantly higher today as well. However, the seven-day average rate of new cases in mainland China has more than quadrupled in recent days, reaching 1,584 cases each week.
China has reacted to the recent influx of cases by mobilising its huge Communist Party machinery, which has sent employees and resources to the scene. Workers in Jilin Province, where a large number of cases have been reported, are constructing temporary housing facilities to accommodate the thousands of individuals who test positive. Every day, employees around the nation are encircling and testing millions of residents in various locations. However, the testing programme is becoming more overburdened.
It is important for China’s viral containment strategy to move rapidly in order to shut down buildings or communities. Officials may close all of the entrances to a business, office building, or even a conference centre in reaction to a single incident. Everyone inside must then remain in the building for up to several days while they are tested for the coronavirus and, if their findings are positive, they are placed in isolation.
Many foreign-owned firms in Shanghai stocked up on mattresses last week in case their staff were confined in their factories or offices this week, according to the Shanghai Daily. A number of multinational corporations in the area then instructed their workers to work from home this week.
A beauty goods show was being held in the world’s biggest convention centre in Guangzhou at the time of the closure, which was enforced by the city authorities on Friday. Crowds of trapped conference attendees milled about and looked for exits in videos that circulated on Chinese social media sites in an apparent effort to circumvent the lockout.
Because of travel limitations, Li Junyan, a 33-year-old businessman in the heavily fortified city of Changchun in northeastern China, has had to suspend the shipment of fruit and health items to online clients. However, he maintains a positive attitude about the situation. It’s clear that he’s suffering losses in his firm, but he says he’s unable to prevent it.
Despite widespread opposition, Chinese physicians and health authorities maintain that more mass testing, quarantines, and lockdowns are required. They caution that revealing too much information too soon might be catastrophic.
Many of the cases reported in recent days have been caused by the Omicron version of the coronavirus, which, although extremely contagious, has been shown to cause patients to get worse than previous forms of the virus. According to statistics given by the Chinese government, a little more than half of people who have been infected with the coronavirus in recent days have not shown any symptoms.
Residents in Shenzhen, a large city of almost 20 million people that serves as China’s technology capital and is next to Hong Kong, were forced to evacuate their homes on Sunday evening. It shut down buses and subways and ordered businesses to shutter, with the exception of supermarkets, farmers’ markets, pharmacies, medical facilities, and the port, which is one of the world’s busiest in the United States.
Dongguan, a large manufacturing city next to Shenzhen, implemented a similar lockdown on Monday as did the Chinese capital.
As a result of the Omicron outbreak, many Chinese people, particularly in southern China, have pointed the finger at adjacent Hong Kong, where a major epidemic has overloaded hospitals and morgues, in part because senior inhabitants have been slow to be vaccinated.
Nationalistic journalist Hu Xijin expressed his dissatisfaction in a post on his social media account on Sunday, saying, “Hong Kong pulled down Shenzhen.”