Seeing red: Chinese city stays its traffic lights to keep residents at home
After detecting nearly 100 infections in Guangxi, the city of Baise has locked down its 3.6-million citizens
An Omicron outbreak in southern China has led officials to switch traffic lights to red in several counties as local governments strive to limit people’s movement to meet Beijing’s strategy of eliminating Covid-19.
A sudden Covid-19 resurgence in the southwestern province of Guangxi during the recent Lunar New Year holiday prompted a snap lockdown on Monday of Baise, a city of 3.6-million bordering Vietnam, after nearly 100 infections were detected. Soon after, authorities in five subdistricts in the city turned the lights red to reinforce the stay-at-home order, though it granted exceptions for essential travel related to medical care, deliveries and the Covid-19 response.
The de facto travel ban underscores the sweeping administrative power Chinese authorities have and their willingness to use it to restrict individual mobility as part of the country’s Covid-zero approach. Such hardcore tactics are being deployed more often as the pathogen’s more infectious Delta and Omicron variants spark more frequent and persistent flare-ups in China...