Approximately 373 million people in 45 cities across China have come under some form of lockdown due to a spike in coronavirus cases amid the spread of the Omicron variant, according to estimates by a Nomura Holdings Inc. unit.
The figure amounts to 26.4 percent of the total population, as the government in Beijing continues to pursue a zero-COVID policy.
Many parts of Shanghai have been locked down since March 28th, the number of infections recorded since the start of the restrictions reached 314,000 on Friday.
According to Nomura, complete or partial lockdowns were in place in 45 Chinese cities as of Monday, up from 23 cities with a total population of 193 million a week earlier. In the areas under lockdown, residents have seen their movements restricted, with public transport, such as buses and subways, halted.
In Shanghai, videos of scuffles between police and residents, frustrated with the strict isolation policy, went viral at one point, but they were later deleted.
The Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai said it has appealed on behalf of some 11,000 Japanese companies based in the city in a letter sent to the municipal government, saying the lockdown has “severely impacted” their operations and uncertainties over the measure have “greatly restricted” their businesses.
The city of Xian has imposed steps to restrict the movement of its 13 million residents through next Tuesday after 43 infections were confirmed as of Friday, with commercial facilities asked to shut down.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KESQ.COM