China has locked down Shenyang city in Liaoning province as the country recorded 4,770 new coronavirus infections, including asymptomatic cases, on Tuesday, reported AFP. The city has a population of 9 million, or 90 lakh.
Shenyang, an industrial city, reported 47 new cases on Tuesday. Authorities have put all housing areas under “closed management” and banned residents from leaving without a 48-hour negative test result.
Liaoning is situated next to Jilin province, which has been reporting the bulk of coronavirus cases registered across the country. On March 19, Jilin had reported two Covid-19 deaths, the first fatalities due to the disease in China since January 2021.
China is experiencing its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic first began in late 2019. The surge in cases is driven by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which was first detected in November last year.
While the coronavirus case tally in China is comparatively lower as compared to the global infection count, Beijing follows a “zero tolerance” policy for the disease, enforcing strict lockdowns, conducting mass testing and imposing travel bans.
Some cities such as Shanghai have avoided a full lockdown. Authorities have instead imposed individual building lockdowns, suspended bus services and made it mandatory for visitors to produce a negative coronavirus test report. The city has also shut down the Disneyland amusement park as daily asymptomatic infection tally continued to increase.
On Tuesday, Shanghai recorded 865 asymptomatic coronavirus cases, a record surge for the fifth consecutive day, reported Reuters.
Meanwhile, Jilin province officials on Monday announced that the first 10,000 doses of Pfizer’s oral Covid-19 drug, Paxlovid, have arrived. This will be the first time China will use Pfizer’s oral drug.
On Monday, China had also locked down Jilin city for three days. The city, the second largest in the province, has a population of about 4.5 million, or 45 lakh.