Chinese officials in the northeastern city of Changchun on Friday ordered the city of 9 million to be locked down over a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The dramatic move reportedly comes after just two cases of the omicron variant were reported Friday, with a total of 78 cases reported over the past several days.
China, where the pandemic likely began, has a strict “zero tolerance” policy toward COVID-19, and authorities have pledged lockdowns for communities with even one case.
People in Changchun are required to stay at home with only one person per household being allowed to leave for food and other necessities every two days.
All nonessential businesses, as well as schools and transportation modes, have been closed.
Residents also must submit to three rounds of mandatory testing.
Additionally, China has imposed a lockdown on Yucheng, a city of about 500,000 in the eastern province of Shandong.
Shanghai on Friday also closed its schools and moved to online instruction after dozens of people tested positive.
Two years after the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic on March 11, 2020, there have been more than 6 million global COVID deaths and more than 453 million global COVID infections, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Public health officials have warned that the infection and death tolls in some countries are likely severely undercounted and thus, they say, it is hard to know the true devastation of the virus.
Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press and Agence France Presse.