A new wave of the deadly COVID-19 has alarmed the Chinese authorities and so far 22 million people are put under lockdown. On Monday, Jan 18, after a sudden spike of COVID-19 cases which is linked to a traveling salesman in the northeast province of China, nearly three million people have been put under strict lockdown.

The lockdown is eerily reminiscent of the one that was imposed in Wuhan a year ago. Wuhan was the ground zero of the COVID-19 virus. Wuhan’s wet market is the alleged origin point from where the COVID-19 virus emerged and wreaked havoc across the globe for a year.  

The latest lockdown comes from Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei. The lockdown in Shijiazhuang was announced on Jan 6 where the residents were required to stay home for a week. Flights to and from the city are still banned and public transport is shunned as well.  

The city’s authorities started working towards mass COVID-19 testing for the population. The city reported a surge in its cases with more than 500 people being infected. The authorities reportedly ordered mass testing for its entire population and ordered 10 million samples. 

By the end of the week, a lockdown was imposed on another neighbourhood city which is on the edge of Beijing called Langfang. Soon, counties in Heilongjiang along with multiple districts in the Chinese capital Beijing also went under complete lockdown.  

So far, more than 22 million people are under government-imposed lockdown. This is double the number of people who were forced to be in a lockdown in January 2020 in Wuhan, the central city from where the virus originated.  

A year after the first lockdown in Wuhan, lockdown seems to be the only tactic to endure the super spreading COVID-19 virus. Initially, the plan to lockdown cities to fight against the virus was considered unthinkable, particularly by governments who were wary of the implications for the human rights violations that limit the citizens’ freedom to go out and move on such a large scale. 

Yet, due to the inexplicable nature of the virus, most countries followed the suit and enforced lockdowns with their own set of rules. China, the country with the highest population has seen a sudden spike in its COVID-19 cases and has been reporting an average of 110 cases a day since the past week. 

It might seem a great number for countries like India, the US and UK who are experiencing far worse, but for China, they are a cause of alarm since it’s the worst China has seen since last year.  

Also Read: WHO scientists reach Wuhan to investigate the origin of COVID-19