China is Closing a City of 5.5 Million because of 2 Omicron Cases
China has announced a full lockdown in Anyang, a city of 5.5 million people, in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 after two cases of Omicron were discovered there, according to The Hill.
Anyang is the third city to close in China after Xi’an was blocked for almost three weeks and Yuzhou for more than a week. State media reported that non-essential vehicles in Anyang were banned from driving on the streets as part of the blockade. People were also not allowed to go out, and shops, except for those selling basic necessities, were also closed. However, the number of cases remains relatively low with 58 new cases confirmed between Monday and Tuesday mornings.
About 20 million people in China are now under quarantine as the country tries to conduct mass tests in an attempt to isolate the infected as quickly as possible. The recent blockades are the largest effort to fight the virus in China since the blockade of Wuhan and Hubei Province in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
While the highly contagious Omicron option continues to increase the number of cases worldwide, the strict solution comes just weeks before the 2022 Beijing Olympics, due to begin on February 4. "If there is a mass transfer of clusters, it will certainly affect the Games and the schedule," said Huang Chun, an Olympic Games officer in charge of disease control. "The worst-case scenario, if it happens, is independent of human will, so we leave our possibilities open," he added.
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