China locks down Shenzhen tech hub as COVID surges

With COVID cases rising, China has issued a new lockdown for its tech hub, Bloomberg reported Sunday, March 13.

China has put 17.5 million residents of its southern city of Shenzhen under lockdown until March 26, according to a notice from the city government.

The measures come as virus cases double across the country, reaching nearly 3,400.

The new measures extend restrictions previously imposed on the city’s central business district. The infections are likely to have come from Hong Kong, which is nearby and has around 300,000 people currently in isolation or under home quarantine.

Shenzhen will also conduct three rounds of mass testing.

Bloomberg reported that all city bus and subway systems have been ordered to close during the restrictions and businesses not providing essential services will close. During this time, employees will work from home if possible.

Additionally, residents will not be able to leave the city except in limited situations, and they will be required to produce a negative COVID test if they leave.

The viral infections came from the omicron variant, which is more contagious than previous variants. This has posed a challenge for the country’s COVID Zero strategy, which has been abandoned by the rest of the world, with officials elsewhere unwilling to proceed with full lockdowns.

See also: Hotels offer perks and discounts for “super commuters”

PYMNTS wrote that the pandemic has seen an increase in the number of people traveling to hotels for work, with remote working becoming more common.

This means that employees who left town have become hotel regulars. This saw an increase in “comfortable bolt holes” after the long ride.

Hotels are trying to take advantage of the trend. They launched new packages designed specifically for these employees, with features such as parking, conference rooms and reduced midweek rates.

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