lørdag 11. mars 2023

Chinese city proposes lockdowns for flu – and faces a backlash

A Chinese city has sparked a backlash on social media after saying it would consider the use of lockdowns in the event of an influenza outbreak. The city of Xi’an – a tourism hotspot in Shaanxi province that is home to the famous terracotta warriors – revealed an emergency response plan this week that would enable it to shut schools, businesses and “other crowded places” in the event of a severe flu epidemic.

That prompted a mixture of anxiety and anger on China’s social media websites among many users who said the plan sounded uncomfortably similar to some of the strict zero-Covid measures China had implemented throughout the pandemic and which have only recently been abandoned. “Vaccinate the public rather than using such time to create a sense of panic,” one user wrote on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

“How will people not panic given that Xi’an’s proposal to suspend work and business activities were issued without clear instruction on national level to classify the disease?” asked another.