Monday. 04.12.2023

Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, another Chinese metropolis with millions of residents has been sent into a lockdown.

As the authorities of the north-eastern city of Changchun announced on Friday, only one person per household is allowed to leave his or her home for shopping every two days.

In addition, all of the city's approximately 9 million residents are to be tested for the virus

The authorities decided on the drastic measure after several hundred infections were discovered in Jilin province, of which Changchun is the capital, in the past few days.

China is currently experiencing the largest wave of the virus since the first coronavirus outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan two years ago.

Nationwide, 1,369 new infections were reported on Friday. 

China wants to stick to its extensive anti-coronavirus protection measures for the time being.

Vaccines, medicines

"The virus is still changing and we continue to learn," China's Premier Li Keqiang told journalists at the end of the Beijing People's Congress on Friday.

Vaccines and medicines against the virus must continue to be improved, according to Li. However, protective measures should always be "scientific and targeted."

After the first major coronavirus wave that originated in Wuhan more than two years ago, China was able to quickly bring the virus under control with strict measures.

Since then, the world's second-largest economy has only experienced outbreaks limited to individual regions. But, since Omicron was first detected in the eastern Chinese port metropolis of Tianjin in early January, health experts fear that this more contagious variant of the coronavirus could push Chinese protective measures to their limits.

China confines city of 9 million inhabitants due to Omicron variant