Conditions hard for 13 million under China virus lockdown


Authorities in the northern Chinese city of Xi’an say they can provide food, health care and other necessities for the 13 million residents under a now almost two-week-old lockdown.

But in social media posts and over the telephone, some citizens describe difficulties obtaining supplies and frustration with the economic impact on the giant city that is home to the famed ancient Terracotta Army, along with major industries.

“Can’t leave the building and it’s getting more and more difficult to buy food online,” said one Xi’an resident, who posted on the social media platform Weibo under the name Mu Qingyuani Sayno.

Officials defend the measures as appropriate and necessary, and with the Beijing Winter Olympics just a month away, are under intense pressure to stem the outbreak.

The Xi’an restrictions imposed Dec. 23 are some of the harshest since China in 2020 imposed a strict lockdown on more than 11 million people in and around the central city of Wuhan, after the coronavirus was first detected there in late 2019. The measures are an outgrowth of China’s “zero COVID-19” policy that includes widespread testing and mask mandates, credited

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