China forces millions of people back into lockdown again amid fears of second outbreak

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More than 100 million people in China have been ordered to self-isolate to prevent a second wave of the deadly disease. Jilin, a north-western city of 4.4 million people, imposed a Wuhan-style lockdown after dozens of new infections were reported.

The region is now in “high alert” due to three locally transmitted cases reported yesterday, along with a death from Sunday.

The stringent lockdown includes school closures, widespread self-isolation and cut off public transport services.

People going into self-isolation have expressed their disappointment after hopes their lives could soon go back to normal.

“Everyone is jittery,” said Wang Yuemei, a pharmaceutical factory employee in nearby Tonghua, speaking to Bloomberg News.

“I never ever expected Jilin province to be a hard-hit area when the whole country is getting back to normal now.”

Last week the Jilin-administered city of Shulan, went into lockdown and ordered some 8,000 people to self-isolate in a failed attempt to stop a second wave of the disease.

The second wave has so far resulted in 18 confirmed infections since 7th May.

On Saturday, the provincial government sacked six officials, including Shulan Communist Party Chief Li Pengfei, over their response to the second outbreak.

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Fengman District has reported 12 infections of local transmission in the same period.

The area entered lockdown yesterday after a 15-point directive from the local health authority.

The lockdown measures include the closure of schools, gyms and restaurants, as well as a ban on foot and vehicle traffic.

Residential neighbourhoods have entered closed management, with only one person from each household appointed to shop for essentials once a day.

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All businesses and most supermarkets in the districts were also shuttered today, reports added.

City authorities were also collecting testing kits and protective equipment for health workers.

After the restrictions were introduced at the weekend shop doors were shuttered, and streets barricaded and left deserted.

The Jilin Ice Sports Center was transformed into a field hospital within 48 hours, following a decree on May 15.

It is still unclear which category of patients would be admitted to the winter sports venue.

Last week, footage emerged of secondary school students being sent home as the number of infections rose.

Schools had only just reopened on April 7 after many regions in China were declared coronavirus-free.

As of May 18 Jilin province has recorded 34 confirmed coronavirus cases.

All of the infections were traced back to a local laundry worker who tested positive for the virus on May 7, but it remains unclear how she contracted the virus.

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