A spike in COVID-19 cases has prompted lockdowns in Guangzhou, a major manufacturing center in southern China.
This has added to the financial strain that has disrupted global supply chains and drastically curtailed growth in the second-largest economy in the world.
Almost 5 million people live in regions that have been told to stay inside at least through Sunday, with one family member permitted to leave the house once daily to buy basics, local authorities said on Wednesday.
The 13 million-person densely crowded city issued the order after receiving more than 2,500 new case reports in the preceding 24 hours.
According to official media, flights to Beijing and other significant cities have been canceled, and classes have been postponed throughout much of Guangzhou.
Despite comparatively few cases and no new deaths, China has maintained its tight “zero-COVID” policy.
The country’s borders are mostly closed, and trade and internal transit are complicated by constantly shifting quarantine rules.
Residents and local Communist Party officials have occasionally fought because of the rigorous regulations; they are threatened with punishment if reported cases in their jurisdictions exceed thresholds deemed acceptable.
The party led by President Xi Jinping has rejected appeals from the World Health Organization to relax laws, refused to import foreign vaccines, and declined to provide more details about the virus’s origins.
The virus was initially discovered in late 2019 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.