China put hundreds of thousands more people under lockdown on Tuesday to try and stamp out a worsening coronavirus outbreak, as infections hit new highs in multiple US states and Europe.
Covid surges have wreaked havoc around the world, with many nations in Europe and North America trying to strike a balance between economically punishing restrictions and controlling the spread of the virus.
The United States halved the isolation period for asymptomatic cases to try and blunt the disruptions, while France ordered firms to have employees work from home for at least three days a week.
Despite facing a much smaller outbreak compared with global virus hotspots, China has not relaxed its “zero Covid” strategy, imposing stay-at-home orders in many parts of the city of Yan’an.
The hundreds of thousands of affected residents there joined the 13 million people in the city of Xi’an, who entered a sixth day of home confinement as China battled its highest daily case numbers in 21 months.
I’m about to be starved to death,” wrote one Xi’an resident on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.
“There’s no food, my housing compound won’t let me out, and I’m about to run out of instant noodles… please help!”
Many Xi’an residents have similarly complained on social media about the restrictions, which include a ban on driving and only one member of a household permitted to go outside for groceries every three days.
This lockdown is the most sweeping in China since the similarly sized city Wuhan was cut off from the world in the early days of the pandemic.