China lockdown: Major city on high alert – 13 million told ‘stay home’ a Covid cases surge

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The northern city of Xi’an will be placed in a strict lockdown from midnight on Thursday with the entire population forced to remain indoors except for emergencies. All households in the city may only “send one household member outside once every two days to purchase necessities”.

The government said residents “should not leave the city unless necessary” and added those seeking to leave would have to provide evidence of “special circumstances”.

They also must apply for approval to leave.

The new orders came a day after the city began testing all of its 13 million residents.

According to reports, Xi’an reported 52 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 143 since December 9.

Latest government notices said long-distance bus stations have been closed in a bid to stop people from leaving the city.

Authorities have also set up disease control checkpoints on highways leading out of the city.

Flight tracker VariFlight also said more than 85 percent of flights to and from the city’s main airport have been grounded.

The MailOnline also reported passenger capacity on buses and trains within the city has been slashed and schools are closed.

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