China extends Covid lockdown in Chengdu city

Officials said the virus still posed a risk in some areas

Chengdu, the capital of the south-western province of Sichuan, was sealed on September 1 after Covid cases were detected. EPA
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China extended a lockdown in most of Chengdu on Thursday, to stem infections among the megacity's 21 million residents.

The capital of the south-western province of Sichuan, which has recently battled heatwaves, power cuts and an earthquake, was sealed on September 1 after cases were detected.

It was the largest Chinese city to be hit with curbs since Shanghai earlier in the year.

While the lockdown was expected to be lifted on Wednesday, officials said late in the day the virus still posed a risk in some areas.

Of the city's 21.2 million residents, 16 million are under lockdown.

Chengdu has mostly been reporting fewer than 200 new infections a day, Reuters reported, citing authorities.

On Thursday, 116 new local infections were reported, more than half of which showed no symptoms, AFP reported, citing figures from the provincial health commission.

Residents of areas under lockdown will be tested every day and those who test positive will be quarantined. Those in areas deemed high-risk are not allowed out of their homes.

Some residents were unable to flee when a strong earthquake in a nearby part of Sichuan reverberated through the city earlier this week.

Businesses in Chengdu have been forced to close, with Swedish carmaker Volvo last week suspending production at a plant in the city that employs about 3,000 people.

China reported 1,334 new domestic infections on Thursday, the majority of which were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said.

Earthquake toll

Meanwhile, the death toll from the earthquake that struck south-west China rose to 82, state media reported on Thursday.

The magnitude 6.6 quake had hit about 43 kilometres south-east of the city of Kangding in Sichuan province at a depth of 10 kilometres on Monday.

State broadcaster CCTV said that 46 people died in Ganzi prefecture near the epicentre, while 36 deaths were reported in neighbouring Ya'an city.

More than 270 were injured, while the number of missing remained at 35, CCTV reported.

The national weather service said moderate rain would continue in the affected earthquake area on Thursday and Friday, with some localised heavy showers.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 7:46 AM