China extends Covid lockdowns for tens of millions in Chengdu and Shenzhen


Chengdu the capital of the south-western Chinese province of Shenzhen, has extended the coronavirus lockdown of most of its districts indefinitely as it hopes to stem further transmissions in the city of about 21.2 million residents.

The mega city, was locked down on 1 September after detecting a number of cases, becoming the largest Chinese metropolis to be slapped with the curbs since Shanghai earlier this year.

The lockdown was expected to be lifted on Wednesday, but officials say there are still risks of social spread in some areas of the city, adding that residents in the affected districts will be tested for the virus on a daily basis.

Authorities in Shenzhen, China’s manufacturing and technology hub, said on Monday that restrictions would continue for three days in parts of the city where cases had been reported after a weekend lockdown of some of its 17.5mn residents.

On Sunday, the city reported 71 new coronavirus cases. “The city’s Covid situation is severe and complex. The number of new infections remains relatively high and community transmission risk still exists,” warned Lin Hancheng, a local official. Chengdu, a city of 21mn and the capital of Sichuan province, announced a four-day lockdown last week.

But authorities reported 140 cases on Sunday and said the restrictions would persist until at least Wednesday. The measures sparked panic buying across the city, with videos spreading online of people piling up their cars with pork and vegetables.

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