(ORDO NEWS) — The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen closed the world’s largest electronics market on Monday and suspended nearby public transport as authorities imposed travel bans on the area due to a small number of cases of the Covid virus.
Huaqiangbei, a bustling shopping area with thousands of stalls selling computer parts, mobile phone parts and chips, is one of three blocks in Futian District that have imposed a mandatory four-day lockdown, according to district officials.
Residents in these areas are prohibited from leaving their homes except for Covid checks, which they must undergo daily until Thursday.
All businesses in the affected areas are closed until Thursday, with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals. Dining in restaurants is also suspended, only takeaway food is allowed.
China is one of the last places in the world to still have stringent measures against the Covid virus that are based on wide-ranging digital surveillance, mass testing, extensive quarantines and sudden lockdowns.
On Tuesday, Shenzhen, an international technology hub of 18 million people, reported just 35 infections, including 11 asymptomatic cases.
As a result of the tough approach, dozens of areas in Shenzhen have been designated “high-risk areas” and placed under a strict ban. In videos shared by residents on social media, metal barriers – some topped with barbed wire – are being erected near residential buildings, preventing residents from leaving.
In the Luohu and Longgang districts, all entertainment venues and public parks are also closed, and various events are prohibited, from conferences and performances to dancing in the square.
Authorities also suspended 24 subway stations and hundreds of bus stations in Shenzhen, including in the Huaqiangbei electronics market area.
At a press conference on Monday, Shenzhen officials said the outbreak was mainly caused by a new sub-variant of the Omicron BF.15, which they say is more transmissible and harder to detect.
“The coming period will be the most stressful, high-risk and grim for epidemic prevention and control in our city,” a Shenzhen official said at a press conference.
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