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Global Times

Xi'an enters 2022 as it confronts severest COVID-19 outbreak since Wuhan

Global Times

By Shan Jie Published: Jan 03, 2022 06:24 PM Updated: Jan 03, 2022 06:17 PM

Northwestern China's Xi'an entered 2022 as it fights the country's severest COVID-19 outbreak since Wuhan's in early 2020, with more than 1,600 cases detected so far.

Since December 9, Xi'an has reported a total of 1,663 local confirmed COVID-19 cases, local authorities announced on Monday.

Local medical authorities in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, on Sunday said at a press conference that the city's outbreak is still at an "intensive" stage.

Before Monday, the daily number of newly reported cases in Xi'an had surpassed 100 for eight consecutive days. On Sunday, the city reported 90 newly reported cases.

Previously, media reports indicated that some people in the city have voiced dissatisfaction in the inconvenience caused by the city's lockdown restrictions as local residents faced challenges in buying fresh produce and daily amenities.

But later the city government said that supplies of essential goods would remain adequate, and officials would begin arranging for grocery deliveries to households for free as from Tuesday.

On China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, some local residents posted photos of the fresh produce they had received.

"The supplies are fine. We had stocked up on some food before the outbreak becoming severe. Online shopping apps are still working and they could deliver groceries," a Xi'an resident told the Global Times on Monday.

The community of the resident's family of five has been locked down for about four days.

"Going through the epidemic, we believe in the government and believe that the city will overcome the difficulties as soon as possible," she said.

On Sunday, Xi'an announced that two Party officials from the city's Yanta district had been removed from their posts, and a deputy mayor concurrently serves as the district Party chief in a bid to strengthen local anti-virus work, local media reported.

However, the origin of the outbreak in Xi'an, and when the virus began to spread and how it has been circulating around the city still remain unknown.

"Currently, it is still not the time to search for inflection points in Xi'an's outbreak," Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times on Sunday night. "Because we have not seen a significant decrease in the number of newly reported cases yet."

Wang said that now many people in China have been fully vaccinated, so symptoms might not be very obvious and some cases were not detected in time. "Therefore, other regions in China should enhance prevention and control of high-risk groups."

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