Xian imposes temporary, partial lockdown

The northwestern city of Xian said on Friday it will temporarily impose a partial lockdown to reduce its 13 million residents' movement, after reporting dozens of Covid-19 infections this month, as China fights a record wave of cases.

Since March, the mainland has been grappling with the worst Covid outbreak since the virus first emerged in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

President Xi Jinping had said there should be no let up in virus control and prevention efforts, while China would strive to minimise the impact of its dynamic-clearance policy on economic and social development.

Xian, which locked down its residents in December to fight a Delta variant outbreak, found 43 locally transmitted infections in its current Omicron flare-up.

The city has responded with curbs on residents' movement from Saturday through to Tuesday, though stopped short of imposing a full lockdown.

Residents should largely keep their movements within residential compounds, while companies should operate normally, but are encouraged to have employees working remotely or living at their workplace, the local government said in a statement.

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Between April 16 and April 19, the city will also suspend dining at restaurants, various entertainment and cultural venues and some face-to-face school sessions.

Taxis and cars operating on ride-hailing platforms will also not be allowed to leave the city, according to the statement. (Reuters)

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