Bizarre scenes as third Chinese city in Covid lockdown: 'Mum and dad will wait'
Alarming video from China is circulating online as the nation refuses to abandon its Covid-zero strategy and tries to eradicate the Omicron variant.
Anyang is the third Chinese city in Covid lockdown, as the country continues to impose draconian measures on millions of residents in a bid to stamp out transmission of the virus in the community in the lead-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Unverified video shared by popular Chinese blogger Fang Shimin, and later the ABC's China correspondent Bill Birtles, appears to show a line of children dressed in hazmat suits being led onto a bus to be taken away for quarantine.
"Mum and dad will wait for you to come home!" text of the video says.
The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Anyang in Henan province where schools have been closed due to the emergence of at least two cases of the Omicron variant, local media reports.
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This video purports to show children, in full PPE, being bussed to a quarantine centre because of a small outbreak in Anyang, Henan.
The text, from a parent, says 'mum and dad will wait for you to come home!' https://t.co/0cnN7O8fP5
— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) January 12, 2022
A separate video of children in inflatable astronaut outfits has been fact-checked by Reuters and proven to be not Covid-related.
Anyang's entire population of 5.5 million people has been placed under lockdown and residents are confined to their homes with personal vehicles banned from streets. It is the third city to be entirely locked down currently due to Covid infections.
China imposes most widespread restrictions since Wuhan outbreak
Roughly 20 million people, including 13 million in Xi'an, are now locked down across the nation in what is the most significant implementation of restrictions since the virus first emerged in Wuhan.
While in recent months relying on localised restrictions focused on particular neighbourhoods, Beijing is taking no chances with the virus in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics just weeks away.
In November, Professor Catherine Bennett, Chair of Epidemiology at Deakin University, told Yahoo News Australia the extremes China was going to were "incredibly impressive" however she said it was "exhausting" for residents whose resolve is "starting to wane".
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She said the country's inferior vaccines to their Western counterparts only fuelled China's insecurity over Covid.
The biggest concern for Beijing has been the virus's spread in Xi'an where cases have surpassed 2,000, however daily cases have dropped off in recent days. Scores of cases in the port city of Tianjin less than an hour from Beijing has also meant all of its 14 million residents will be forced to test for the virus.
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