The Chinese city of Xi’an has revealed plans to enforce lockdowns again, but this time for the common flu virus instead of covid.
The mega-city which is home to some 13 million people has backed the use of lockdowns including school and business closures as part of a plan to contain influenza outbreaks.
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The plans have already triggered a backlash on Chinese social media.
Flu just happened to make a comeback and started to surge across China as the last Covid wave started waning….
MSN reports: The emergency response plan for the city published Wednesday allows city officials to enforce lockdowns “when necessary” if an outbreak of the common flu virus poses a “serious threat”.
Following the publication, officials said a lockdown could be “imminent”.
It comes amid a rising number of influenza cases across the country, while COVID-19 cases continue to fall.
The plan details four levels of flu outbreak, and if the virus was to reach a critically high level, fresh lockdowns would likely be reinstated.
This would enable officials in Xi’an to shut schools, entertainment venues, and businesses if community spread reaches an acute level.
Professor Tang Renwu, from the School of Government at Beijing Normal University, said more local governments across China were likely to adopt similar lockdown plans for flu outbreaks in the coming days.
Prof Tang said: “Local governments should pay attention to their wording when issuing similar documents so as not to trigger social panic.”
BBC’s Stephen McDonnell revealed that the People’s Armed Police were “masked up” in Beijing last night.
However, it remains unclear whether this was due to the dangerously poor air quality that has dominated the Chinese capital in recent days, or concerns over the flu virus.