As officials in China continue to face pressure from Chinese President Xi Jinping to fully implement Covid Zero they have taken a stealthy approach towards implementing lockdowns.
According to a report by Bloomberg News, authorities are now wary of the impact of lockdowns on local economy and the society and to avoid panic of blanket order they are communicating restrictions with businesses directly and shutting down sections of the city in stages where the outbreak is being reported.
Residents of some of these cities speaking to the news agency also said they have come home to find out that lockdown restrictions are in place.
During the once-in-five-years Communist Party congress last month, Xi Jinping said the policy is scientific and the right one for China and did not say when its implementation will stop.
The controls have only grown tougher in their nature.
Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its 13 million residents is living under this quiet lockdown. Official lockdowns have been announced in Hanyang and Jiangan.
In Zhengzhou, where some workers from Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology Group’s vast iPhone assembly site fled the premises by scaling fences, small lockdowns are being imposed in several areas of the city, thus resulting in an entire city lockdown.
Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Shanghai have also taken a similar approach. Children of parents in these cities are now informed verbally or via social media sites that schools will remain closed since cases were detected.
The lockdown restrictions when lifted also do not apply to everyone. A Tibetan woman speaking to Bloomberg News says despite authorities there saying that restrictions were eased on October 22, she still remained in her neighbourhood.
The Bloomberg News report also pointed out that reduction in air travel is also an impact of these under-the-radar lockdown measures. It said that the Urumqi airport and the airports in Zhengzhou had the fewest completed flights, citing data from flight data provider Variflight.
Experts speaking to the news agency said these restrictions will continue as poor healthcare system, slow pace of vaccination and ineffective vaccines force leaders to prioritise Covid-19.
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