New business in the closed city drops to its lowest in a week, as residents face strict house restrictions on the 11th day.
New COVID-19 cases in the closed Chinese city of Xi’an have dropped to their lowest in a week as residents face their eleventh day under strict housing restrictions.
China has pursued a “zero-COVID” approach involving strict border restrictions and rapid, targeted restrictions since the virus first surfaced in a central city in late 2019.
However, this strategy has come under pressure in recent weeks with a number of local outbreaks and cases remaining high.
122 fresh infections were reported in the historic northern city on Sunday – the lowest since December 25, and lower than 174 on Saturday.
Zhang Canyou, of China’s disease control agency, told state broadcaster CCTV that after several rounds of testing in Xi’an and the introduction of the closure, they had begun to see “some positive changes”.
“We will also make some adjustments to the prevention and control measures in a timely manner,” he said.
However, there are 16 patients in a “serious” condition, according to the National Health Commission.
Although it is low compared to numbers elsewhere, new infections have reached a peak in recent days that has not been seen since March 2020 in China.
Since December 9, more than 1,500 cases of the Delta strain in Xi’an have been reported, and health officials said at a news conference on Saturday that two patients were in critical condition.
China has not reported any deaths from COVID-19 since January 2021.
Residents in the locked Xi’an said this week that they were struggling to get enough food, and local officials had asked residents to practice “understanding and tolerance” while trying to sort out supplies.
Seven cases were also reported on Sunday in eastern Ningbo, where a small group was linked to a garment factory.
All flights from the city to the capital Beijing have been canceled, state media said.