A vendor rides a bicycle selling Chinese sugar in a public park in Beijing, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Photo by AP Photo/Andy Wong

Chinese cities imposed new lockdowns and travel restrictions after the number of new daily COVID-19 cases tripled during the week-long holiday, ahead of a major Communist Party meeting in Beijing next week.

The latest lockdown began on Monday in Fenyang city in northern China’s Shanxi province, after a previous positive case, was found during citywide testing the day before, state broadcaster CCTV said.

In the neighboring Inner Mongolia region, the capital city of Hohhot announced that outside vehicles and passengers would be banned from entering the city starting Tuesday. Hoh Hot recorded more than 2,000 cases in 12 days.

China is one of the few places in the world where strict measures are still in place to prevent the spread of the disease. The long-ruling Communist Party is particularly concerned about trying to present a positive image of the nation ahead of the party’s five-year congress that begins on Sunday.

During the annual National Holiday, which began on October 1, travel was halted as authorities advised against people leaving their cities and provinces. But the number of new daily cases still rose to about 1,800 from 600 at the start of the break.

Leaders don’t want a major outbreak to tarnish Congress, but their strict “zero COVID” approach has taken an economic toll, especially on small business and temporary workers. Many in China hope that the pandemic policy will soften after the meeting.

  • China imposes lockdown due to post-holiday outbreak of COVID-19

    A masked man collects his test tube as masked residents line up to register to receive a routine COVID-19 throat swab at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Photo by AP Photo/Andy Wong

  • China imposes lockdown due to post-holiday outbreak of COVID-19

    A woman wearing a face mask walks past a Communist star symbol displayed outside a restaurant in Beijing, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022. Chinese cities are imposing new lockdowns and travel restrictions as the number of daily COVID-19 cases tripled during a week-long holiday and ahead of a major Communist Party gathering. party in Beijing next week. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong

  • China imposes lockdown due to post-holiday outbreak of COVID-19

    On Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, residents take a throat swab for COVID-19 at a coronavirus testing station in a public park in Beijing. Photo credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong

  • China imposes lockdown due to post-holiday outbreak of COVID-19

    A child wearing a face mask, accompanied by his guardian, walks through a barricade outside a school in Beijing, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Photo by AP Photo/Andy Wong

Outbreaks have been reported across the country, with the largest number in Inner Mongolia the extreme west of the Xinjiang region. Both record several hundred new cases a day.

Both Shanghai, where residents endured lengthy lockdowns earlier this year, and the country’s capital, Beijing, have seen a small but growing number of cases. Last week, two districts of Shanghai announced the closure of cinemas and other entertainment facilities.

Lining up for a free virus test several times a week has become the norm for many Chinese, and Beijing and other cities require a negative test result within 72 hours to enter parks, office buildings, shops and other public places.


China imposes COVID-19 lockdown on millions of people around Beijing


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