China has placed millions of its citizens under renewed lockdown following fresh outbreaks of Covid-19, authorities reported, as the government persists in its hard-line policy on containing the virus.
The measures affected about half of the six million residents of the port city of Dalian, along with an undisclosed number in Chengde and Shijiazhuang in Hebei province, both around three hours from the capital Beijing.
Dalian’s lockdown was due to last five days, although authorities have in the past extended restrictions depending on the number of new cases.
Beijing has been relatively unaffected thus far, although travel in and out of the capital has been discouraged and residents are subject to testing on an almost daily basis.
Partial lockdowns have also been imposed on cities such as Chengdu in the south west, Shenyang in the north east and Jishui in the south east.
Such measures are mandated under China’s “zero-Covid” policy, which contrasts starkly with moves by other nations to co-exist with the virus through gradual easing of restrictions, vaccinations, improved therapeutics and voluntary isolation.
China has largely kept its borders closed to foreign visitors, while requiring those who do come to submit to more than a week of quarantine in hotels where sanitary conditions are often poor.