Zhengzhou, a city in central China that is home to a huge iPhone factory, ordered six million people to shut down after a surge in Covid-19 cases sparked violent protests in the industrial hub.
Hundreds of workers protested outside the factory and clashed with police armed with batons and dressed in white overalls to protect themselves from infection.
City officials immediately ordered a large-scale coronavirus testing campaign in several neighborhoods, which were closed for five days, starting at midnight Friday.
Residents from the city center can no longer leave their neighborhood without a negative PCR test and permission from local authorities. They were advised not to leave their neighborhood, “unless absolutely necessary.”
The measures have affected about half of Zhengzhou’s population and do not apply to the part of the city where the iPhone factory is located, where workers have been subjected to strict measures for several weeks.
Under China’s relentless “zero covid” policy, even the slightest spike in infections results in entire cities being shut down and anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus being quarantined. For most people, this strategy causes fatigue, resistance, and resentment.