China imposes “temporary restrictions” in Xian after spike in Covid cases

Businesses in China’s tourist city, Xi’an, were forced to shut their doors again as the number of new Covid-19 cases spiked, while Shanghai and Beijing have been ordered to conduct further rounds of mass covid testing.

Tens of millions of people were put on lockdown in China on Wednesday after health officials reported over 300 Covid cases in the country, with clusters discovered in the historic northern city of Xi’an and the country’s financial hub, Shanghai.

The new cases, as well as the official response to them, have fueled fears that China would return to strict restrictions that were seen earlier this year.

Shanghai will conduct mass testing in many districts following the resurgence of Covid cases earlier this week, according to a statement on the city’s WeChat account.

According to Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, restrictions on local movement had been implemented in eleven Chinese cities as of Monday, up from five the previous week.

Meanwhile, Xi’an – a historic city of 13 million – has been placed back under “temporary control measures” after 29 infections were reported, largely among waste recycling workers, since Saturday.

The city government announced that all bars, clubs, and other public entertainment venues, including internet cafes and karaoke bars, will close at midnight on Wednesday.