Neighbourhood in Guangzhou under lockdown after fresh Covid-19 outbreak

People queueing for Covid-19 testing at Haizhu Square in Guangzhou on May 27. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP, BLOOMBERG) - A neighbourhood in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has been placed under lockdown as officials rushed to quell an uptick in Covid-19 cases in the area.

Households in an area spanning five streets within the Liwan district have been barred from leaving their homes except for selected family members to buy daily necessities, the city government said in a notice on its official WeChat on Saturday.

There was no mention of the length of the lockdown, or the number of people that were affected.

Authorities also ordered all schools in Liwan, as well as some areas in several other Guangzhou districts to suspend most in-person lessons.

Indoor stadiums, wholesale markets and entertainment facilities in the affected areas were also closed, while dine-in services were banned at restaurants.

Guangzhou, an industrial hub north of Hong Kong and home to nearly 15 million people, started taking measures to contain the spread since May 21 when confirmed cases and asymptomatic infections began showing up in the city, the government said in a separate notice.

It reported 12 local asymptomatic infections and four imported infections on Saturday.

The city government has rushed to conduct mass testing and about 700,000 people had been tested by Wednesday.

China has largely controlled the spread of the virus and has tightened quarantine rules after a surge in cases in neighbouring countries.

The mini-outbreak in Guangzhou is believed to be linked to a 75-year-old woman who tested positive for the virus variant first identified in India, local health officials said.

The total number of confirmed infections in China to date stands at 91,061, with 4,636 deaths, according to the latest figures from the National Health Commission.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.