The Chinese Communist regime announced on Wednesday that Universal Beijing Resort will be closed indefinitely, and several districts in the major cities of Wuhan and Guangzhou have been locked down, due to surging coronavirus cases.
The announcement comes hard on the heels of a National Party Congress that claimed dictator Xi Jinping’s manic lockdown policies were a tremendous success and would be continued in perpetuity.
Universal Beijing Resort, a joint venture between Universal owner Comcast and China’s state-controlled Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment, said it would “strive to resume operations as soon as possible.” Existing ticket holders were offered a choice between rescheduling their visits or requesting a refund.
The city of Wuhan — ground zero for the worldwide coronavirus pandemic — locked down a district with over 800,000 residents, suspended hospital outpatient services, and closed schools.
Officials from the shuttered Hanyang district told Bloomberg News the entire population has been told to stay in their homes until at least Sunday, and all “non-essential businesses” have been shut. Social media users are posting photos of ominous barriers constructed around the district to trap residents inside.
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Guangzhou, a huge city and manufacturing hub which has already locked down two districts, announced five more have been classified as “high-risk.” As with Wuhan’s Hanyang district, Guangzhou has suspended in-person schooling and shuttered public venues in the affected districts — which could be somewhat more problematic, because Guangzhou is one of China’s top manufacturing cities, and the economy is already reeling from the impact of ongoing “zero Covid” lockdowns.
Travel into the capital city of Beijing has been restricted for months as coronavirus cases mounted and the National Party Congress approached, but Beijing still reported a dramatic increase in coronavirus infections. Beijing generally avoids embarrassing city- or district-wide lockdowns, but some individual residential compounds have been quarantined.
Residents of the once more locked-down districts seemed a little put off by the Communist Party’s triumphalism at the meeting that made Xi the first Party chief to secure a third term in power.
“It’s already the third year and things are still like this. It affects me both mentally and physically… but I’m helpless in all of this so I’ve learned to accept it,” a dismayed Wuhan resident and tourism industry employee told Reuters on Wednesday.
Public opposition to zero-Covid lockdowns grew after a 16-year-old girl reportedly died in a prison-like “quarantine center,” the UK Guardian noted last week. Many of China’s big cities have constructed quarantine centers outside city limits; Shanghai is planning to build one with over 3,000 beds on an island.