21.2 million residents in SW China’s Chengdu asked not to leave home unless necessary amid COVID-19 flare-ups
Published: Sep 01, 2022 02:53 PM Updated: Sep 01, 2022 02:39 PM
Residents line up to buy daily necessities in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Source: Weibo

Residents line up to buy daily necessities in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Source: Weibo

21.2 million residents in Chengdu, the capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, have been asked not to leave their homes from 6 pm on Thursday unless necessary to cope with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city, local health authorities said, adding that all residents will also undergo a four-day nucleic acid test from Thursday to Sunday.

Chengdu reported 106 new confirmed local cases and 51 asymptomatic infections on Wednesday, with most of the new cases linked to the infection at a swimming pool in a gym on August 25, local health authorities said on Thursday. At present, there are 198 high-risk areas and 183 medium-risk areas in Chengdu.

Two airports in Chengdu have cancelled a large number of flights on Thursday due to the epidemic. As of 12:25 am, nearly 60% of flights at Shuangliu airport and nearly 80% of flights at Tianfu airport were cancelled, as displayed on information provider VariFlight.

According to epidemiological investigation, a swimming pool and a water park have been associated with multiple cases in this round of outbreak. "Chengdu experienced extreme heat some time ago, which led to more water activities among local residents, resulting in a large number of people gathering and having close contact with each other, and inadequate personal protective measures during the leisure activities, resulting in the outbreak and an increased risk of social transmission," said local authorities.

"The situation is very serious and the progress of the epidemic is very fast," local health authorities in Chengdu said earlier, noting that the genetic sequencing results of this outbreak have shown that it is Omicron variant BA.2.76, which is homologous to the virus strains circulating in many places in and outside the province recently. The virus spread quickly and was highly infectious, and the latent transmission was very strong, resulting in large-scale cluster outbreaks in many places of the country.

Residents have been required not to leave their homes starting from 6 pm Thursday, except for those seeking medical treatment and other special needs. Each household can arrange one person to go out once a day to buy daily supplies with the negative nucleic acid certificate within 24 hours, read the statement from local authorities.

Other than this, except for public service enterprises that guarantee residents' basic lives and the basic operation of the city, other institutions will be temporarily closed, and restaurants are also required to cancel dine-in services.

The frequency of bus and subway operations will be adjusted, and people with special needs will be required to take public transportation with a 24-hour negative nucleic acid certificate.

Chengdu's education bureau said in a statement on Tuesday that the start of the fall semester of schools in the city will be postponed, and the students return time will be informed according to the situation of the epidemic. Schools and universities across the city will adopt online courses to ensure the teaching and learning can continue normally.

Global Times