China’s Xinjiang is restricted by Covid-19: Following the reporting of fewer than 200 asymptomatic instances of COVID-19 over the previous two days. China on Wednesday banned all trains and buses into and out of Xinjiang, effectively putting the western region under siege.
As the government stepped up its “zero-COVID” policy, local officials in at least four cities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including the capital Urumqi, warned citizens not to leave.
With a population of almost 22 million, Xinjiang is the most significant region in the nation. On Thursday, the province recorded at least 97 new asymptomatic illnesses. Including 40 in Urumqi, and 93 cases on Wednesday, both for the day before.
Since the start of the most recent outbreaks in August, 452 asymptomatic COVID-19 cases have documented in the area, making the stringent restrictions seem out of proportion to the actual number of issues.
The new restrictions implement ten days before the Communist Party of China’s 20th National Conference. President Xi Jinping anticipate to win a historic third term, and the country’s leadership for the next five years will determine that.
Even as other nations discontinue their COVID-related measures, China’s stringent “zero-COVID” policy with snap lockdowns and contact isolation has become Xi’s signature anti-COVID campaign.
China’s provincial governments have responded to Xi’s orders by cracking down on even the slightest breakouts, albeit at a tremendous economic cost.
In southwest China’s Guizhou Province, a bus taking passengers to a COVID-19 quarantine center collapsed last month, resulting in at least 27 fatalities and 20 injuries.
When it reveal that a bus was transferring apartment complex residents to a quarantine center, outrage ensued.
However, authorities have kept up the practice, claiming it’s the only way to stop massive outbreaks and hospitalizations.
At a news conference earlier this week, Liu Sushi, vice chairman of the Xinjiang administration, said that the region’s limited nucleic acid test capabilities were the “greatest vulnerability” against the spread of the sickness.
The news website Caixin reported Liu stating that “additionally, a lack of qualified staff and suitable equipment have harmed the quality of test findings and led some samplers to get sick themselves.”
A report in the state-run Global Times said, “The latest epidemic, which started on July 30 in Xinjiang, has spread to 37 corps of counties, cities, and districts in 13 prefectures.”
It has become a significant public health emergency with the fastest transmission speed, the broadest coverage. The most people infected, and the hardest to prevent and control in the history of Xinjiang.”