Chinese city of Xian continues to reel under COVID-19 surge

Chinese city of Xian continues to reel under COVID-19 surge

Beijing: The Chinese city of Xian, which has been under lockdown for the past ten days, continued to reel under a major COVID-19 outbreak in the New Year, with cases breaching the 1,500-mark, and 200 fresh cases being reported in other parts of the country, local authorities said on Sunday.

Xian, a popular tourist destination, and home of the famous terracotta warrior museum, reported 122 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Saturday, authorities said.

The capital city of north-western Shaanxi province, has so far registered a total of 1,573 local cases since December 9, amid the latest resurgence of the virus, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Of the fresh cases, 104 were reported while in quarantine, and 18 were detected during nucleic acid testing.

Of the total 1,573 cases, eight have recovered. Three of the cases are critical and 10 remain severe, but all of the rest are moderate and mild cases.

Thousands of tonnes of food were being delivered to residents under lockdown, although complaints of food shortages continued as Xian, the city of 13 million, grappled with China's worst Coronavirus outbreak since the start of last year, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

An official in Xincheng district of the city said on Saturday that 4,100 tonnes of vegetables were delivered to nearly 250,000 residents, while another local official said at least 1,200 tonnes of meat, eggs, milk and vegetables would be delivered to those living in the city's special economic zone, the report said.

China's National Health Commission said on Sunday that the Chinese mainland on Saturday reported 191 new cases, including 60 imported cases.

With this, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China, since the virus first surfaced in Wuhan in late 2019, touched 102,505 as on Saturday.

This included 3,013 patients, who are still receiving treatment, of whom 16 were in severe condition, the Commission's report said. So far 4,636 people had died as a result of the virus.

China has followed a zero-Covid' approach involving strict border restrictions and swift, targeted lockdowns.

However, this strategy has been put under intense pressure, due to a surge in local outbreaks in recent weeks.

The rising number of cases is also a cause of concern as China is poised to hold the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics from next month.

The Beijing Winter Olympics, the 24th edition of the showpiece event, which started in 1924, will be held from

February 4 to 20.

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