Beijing Begins Mass Flight Cancellations Ahead of Possible Coronavirus Lockdown
( Breitbart )
Chinese flight cancellations, already vexing travelers in a few coronavirus hot spots like the city of Guangzhou, expanded greatly throughout the week.
On Wednesday, the state-run Global Times said some airports are seeing 98 percent flight cancellation rates, while massive Guangzhou was up to 89 percent canceled.
“Two major airports in Beijing also had widespread flight cancellations, with 718 and 767 flights canceled at Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport respectively, amounting to cancellation rates of 75 percent and 86 percent,” the Global Times reported.
Airports in Inner Mongolia and the central Henan province fared even worse, reporting outbound flight cancellations of nearly 100 percent.
Travel restrictions have often been a prelude to citywide lockdowns under China’s strict “zero-Covid” policy, which the central government insists will continue without apology, although it has lately signaled to nervous residents that some of the worst lockdown excesses could be scaled back.
The all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, refurbished with a lineup of dictator Xi Jinping’s minions during the National Party Congress (NPC) last month, reaffirmed its devotion to zero-Covid policy at its first post-NPC meeting on Thursday.
“We must take more resolute and decisive measures to curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible and restore normal production and normal life as soon as possible,” the Standing Committee said, brushing aside growing public outrage and economic damage from endless lockdowns.
Guangzhou, with a population of 19 million, is increasingly worried about suffering through a brutal citywide lockdown as daily coronavirus cases purportedly exceeded 2,000 for the third day in a row on Thursday. Guangzhou, therefore, became the “epicenter” of the outbreak as its infection rate surpassed that of Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia.
Some residents are reportedly leaving the city ahead of the anticipated quarantine or stocking up on supplies. The specter of the horrifying two-month summertime lockdown of Shanghai is frequently invoked by nervous Guangzhou residents.
“As things stand, it is hard to tell whether Guangzhou will repeat the experience of Shanghai in spring this year. If Guangzhou repeats what Shanghai did in spring, it will lead to a new round of pessimism on China,” analysts for the global analytics firm Nomura warned on Thursday.
According to the Global Times, Guangzhou is holding off on a total lockdown for the time being, but has suspended school classes and shuttered some individual districts.
“We have been working from home for the past couple of days. Only a few compounds have been locked up so far. Mostly we are seeing disruptions in the form of public transit services being suspended and compound security barring couriers and food delivery. And we have to do PCR tests every day,” a Guangzhou resident told Reuters on Tuesday.