Mass tests after 40 corona cases in China

Status: 10.01.2022 10:48 a.m.

There are 40 corona cases in Tianjin. China’s authorities are reacting tough as usual: All 14 million residents have to take the test. But can this strategy also be maintained if Omikron continues to prevail?

Benjamin Eyssel
ARD-Studio Peking

By Benjamin Eyssel, ARD-Studio Beijing

The people in Tianjin have been asked to reduce contacts and get tested. Videos are circulating on the Internet of crowds who apparently want to stock up on groceries – for fear of severe curfews, as in the city of Xi’an. Many residents there have complained that they are not getting enough to eat.

Panic buying should be prevented

The Chinese state and party leadership now apparently wants to prevent panic buying in the economic metropolis of Tianjin. State television shows pictures of full shelves and fresh vegetables. The message behind it: there is enough available, prices are stable.

“We reacted immediately and since Saturday we have ten times as many instant noodles in stock and twenty times as many vegetables. There is also more beef, lamb and pork than usual. The prices are stable and will not change even after the Spring Festival next month” says the manager of a supermarket chain in the CCTV broadcaster.

Hard lockdown in Xi’an for more than two and a half weeks

In Xi’an, people have hardly been allowed to leave their houses and apartments for two and a half weeks – except for PCR tests. Apparently, the authorities succeeded in getting the outbreak largely under control. According to the authorities, there have been around 2,000 Covid cases since the beginning of December in the Xi’an metropolitan region, which is home to 13 million people – the largest outbreak in China in around two years.

China continues to react rigorously to the smallest outbreaks

There are also isolated outbreaks of the corona virus in other parts of the country. The authorities have not disclosed which variant it is.

Compared to the number of infections in the rest of the world, the number of cases in the People’s Republic is negligible. China responds to the smallest outbreaks with mass tests, curfews and travel bans. Many experts doubt whether China’s strict zero-covid policy can continue to be implemented in view of the highly contagious Omicron variant. The latest studies show that the vaccines used in China only provide insufficient protection against infection with the variant.

Which exacerbates the situation further: In less than a month, the Winter Olympics are to take place in China – in a bubble, completely isolated from the rest of the country. Just before that, the Chinese New Year begins. Traditionally, hundreds of millions of Chinese travel across the country to visit their families around the Spring Festival.

China: New mass tests for locally transmitted Omicron cases

Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Beijing, 10.1.2022 · 09:27

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *