Chinese metropolis of Chengdu locks down 21 million residents
All residents in the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China are ordered to stay at home from 6 p.m. Thursday, except for mandatory Covid testing. Households can send one person out for grocery shopping once per day with a negative test, and residents with emergent requests such as seeking medical are subject to neighborhood committee approval.
All businesses are shutdown except for supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals. Restaurant dining is also suspended, with only takeaways allowed.
China is one of the last places in the world still enforcing stringent zero-Covid measures, which rely on sweeping digital surveillance, mass testing, extensive quarantines and snap lockdowns.
The strategy has faced growing challenges from the highly infectious Omicron variant, with large swathes of the country subject to rolling lockdowns and daily testing.
The unending restrictions have upended daily life and dealt a heavy blow to the slowing economy. In July, youth unemployment in China hit a record high, with one in five young people out of work.
Chengdu reported 156 Covid cases on Wednesday, bringing the total caseload to more than 700 over the past week.