Yiwu, in the eastern province of Zhejiang in China, is a major manufacturing center for consumer goods © AFP/Getty Images

Chinese authorities on Thursday locked down the eastern city of Yiwu, a major manufacturing and export hub, as several coronavirus outbreaks triggered tighter restrictions in places across the country.

China is one of the last countries in the world to pursue a strict zero-Covid policy and has continued to impose sporadic restrictions on cities and regions to eliminate outbreaks since the two-month closure of its most important shopping center. of Shanghai which ended in June. .

Regular testing and changing localized restrictions are also increasingly part of everyday life in areas outside of lockdowns.

Yiwu authorities on Thursday morning divided most of the city into medium-risk and high-risk areas, with residents of the former confined to their residential compounds and those of the latter not allowed to leave their homes for three days. .

They also banned travel to and from Yiwu except when absolutely necessary, suspended non-essential businesses that cannot operate a “closed-loop” work system, and ordered schools to only conduct online classes. line.

Yiwu, with a population of about 1.9 million, is an important manufacturing hub for consumer goods exported around the world.

China reported 1,993 new local cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, including 75 in Zhejiang province, where Yiwu is located. That compared to 1,030 new local cases on Wednesday.

The country is also battling outbreaks in Tibet, which discovered its first cases in more than 900 days last week, Hainan, where tens of thousands of holidaymakers have been trapped by lockdowns, and the western region of Xinjiang.

Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding in Beijing