the Omicron variant threatens the Beijing Olympics

The threat of an imminent general quarantine hangs over the megalopolis of Tianjin, where 14 million inhabitants live. “As these are the first cases in China of the Omicron variant, as Tianjin is only 150 km from Beijing and the secretary general of the local Communist Party is very close to leader Xi Jinping, we can expect that the state of emergency is even more severe than in Xian “, testifies Sunday, January 9 on his social network Edward Chen, a resident of Tianjin. Especially less than a month from the Beijing Winter Olympics which begin on February 4.

Tianjin’s 14 million people are being tested

The city authorities have thus decided to test the 14 million inhabitants of the city while blocking several neighborhoods, preventing people from entering or leaving.

→ ANALYSIS. Beijing 202: the threat of the virus hangs over the Beijing Olympics

Official statements on the number of Omicron variant cases state “At least two cases”, imported by Chinese from abroad – the port city of Tianjin is one of the few gateways to China for international air flights. But some witnesses fear a much greater contamination at Omicron. The results of the extensive testing campaign in Tianjin will allow decisions to be made that are appropriate to the situation.

Xian City Still in Full Quarantine

While the full containment of the city of Xian (13 million people still in quarantine) in Shaanxi province in December is on everyone’s mind, residents of Tianjin have rushed to supermarkets to stock up on food.

The city authorities wanted to reassure them by telling them that the government had already built up reserves of vegetables and meat in the event of confinement. In images received from a trusted source, thousands of Tianjin University students are seen stranded on campus. Like the big campus in Hangzhou city (Zhejiang province) last month where more than 30,000 students, teachers and staff were confined for three days to be tested.

Some Chinese are starting to get tired

The multiplication of these situations in several provinces and cities of China raises questions regarding the Chinese policy of “zero Covid” which provides for brutal strict containment measures and immediate mass tests to stem epidemics.

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Thus on Sunday January 9, images received and verified by The cross show hundreds of residents of the small town of Shizhu, Yongkang City (1.5 million in wealthy Zhejiang Province), who are taken on buses to be isolated in hotels. “They are all in full protection suits, says a witness from Yongkang, it gives an image of the end of the world because there is no one left in the streets. “

Several other testimonies authenticated by The cross offer a contrasting vision of how the population reacts to this very restrictive health policy.

Many say: “The government is protecting us and doing better than in the West. “ Others, fewer in number but worried regarding spying on social networks, launch: “Our lives no longer depend on local political decisions which are inspired by the fear of being misjudged by Beijing. Nobody dares to protest. ” Some express a certain « lassitude » and “Nervous fatigue”. But they have no choice.


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