Largest Chinese city to date, tens of millions put on strict COVID lockdown after record outbreak

shenzhen lockdown
  • China reported over 5,100 new COVID cases on Tuesday, March 15, causing several cities to go into lockdown.
  • The rapid increase in infections marks a stark difference from February, when there were only a few dozen reported cases.
  • Unexpected lockdowns have also created panic among citizens who have reportedly been scrambling to gather necessities.
  • On Thursday, a student in quarantine posted online that there was a “serious shortage of daily necessities” in their dormitories, with female students not having access to sanitary pads and the sick not having people to care for them.
  • China is not alone in its Omicron surge – Korea also reported a record number of cases with an all-time high of 383,664 this past Friday.

Tens of millions of people in China are in strict lockdown after a record number of reported cases on Tuesday.

In pursuit of its zero-COVID policy, China has ordered residents of several cities, including Changchun, Jilin City and Shenzhen, after hitting a record high of infections this month. The latest outbreak of over 5,100 reported cases on March 15 marked a rapid increase from the few dozen in February just last month. 

Affected residents are banned from leaving their homes, with one designated person per household allowed to leave for groceries every other day.

Shutdowns due to China’s zero-COVID strategy have largely affected global supply chains, causing delays in shipments to the U.S. and other parts of the world. Shenzhen and Shanghai, the two largest cities in China to face lockdown to date, announced they would be imposing “stringent restrictions” starting Sunday, March 13, through the rest of the week. 

The shutdown of Shenzhen, China’s tech hub and the largest Chinese city to be shut down due to COVID to date, will heavily affect the export of everything from electronics to cars. Its Yantian port is the fourth largest in the world, important to several large manufacturing sites, including Foxconn, Apple’s top iPhone manufacturer.

Unexpected lockdowns have also created panic among citizens who have reportedly been scrambling to gather necessities. Last Thursday, a student quarantined in a dormitory posted online that there was a “serious shortage of daily necessities,” with female students not having access to sanitary pads and the sick not having people to care for them.

The Omicron variant has taken Asia by storm with Korea also reporting a record number of cases. On Friday, March 11, Korea hit an all-time high with 383,664 cases. The number has stayed consistently above 300,000 infections daily.

Featured Image via Good Morning America

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