Photo: The Associated Press
China ordered a lockdown on the 9-million-strong northeastern city of Changchun on Friday due to a spike in COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant.
Lockdown protocols order that only one family member can go outside to buy necessities every two days, and the rest of the family must stay home. Additionally, all residents must undergo three rounds of mass testing. Transport links have also been suspended, and non-essential businesses were closed.
This follows after China ordered a lockdown on Yuchen with 500,000 people in the eastern province of Shandong. The series of lockdowns shows China’s draconian approach to the pandemic it has enforced in the past two years, despite earlier indications that authorities might aim for more targeted measures.
On Friday, 397 cases of local transmission were reported, and 98 of them were found in Jilin Province surrounding Changchun. Changchun is the center of the country’s auto industry.
Since the outbreak started last week, over 1,100 cases have been recorded in the entire province.
After two cases were reported on Friday, Changchun recorded 78 total cases. China’s “zero tolerance” approach to the pandemic has led to authorities pledging a lockdown on any community where one or two cases are found.
A partial lockdown and suspension of travel links were ordered in Jilin after another 93 cases were confirmed.
Officials of Jilin Agricultural Science and Technology University were fired after a cluster of infections were reported on campus. It also followed complaints from students on social media that COVID-positive individuals were being kept in poor conditions in school libraries and other buildings.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, there are 74 confirmed cases registered by the school, and it has transferred over 6,000 people to quarantine.
Aerial images showed students in hazmat suits lining up and waiting for their transfer.