This morning, the main roads leading to Haizhu were almost silent.
These arterial roads were often jammed with traffic but there were only a few cars.
It was because of the large red barricades that were blocking the dual carriageway’s four-lane, dual carriageway. Only a few cars managed to pass. Ours and many others were refused.
Beyond is a district under lockdown that houses the majority of Guangzhou’s COVID cases.
Around a third of China’s total infected are from this city.
Haizhu is at the epicenter of the epicentre.
Read more: COVID-19: ‘Situation is getting worse across China’
We were able get closer to the blue-fenced fence by using another route.
Unexpectedly, this area was a hub of activity.
Moped riders carried extra supplies across the barriers, while others stood on bollards and inspected the top.
It was allowed to drive in a community food truck.
The only exception is for those who are stuck inside to be allowed to leave their homes to purchase food or get tested. All other shops, schools, and offices are closed.
This has been going on for almost a month now and it’s clear that people are tired.
We were approached by a man who waved from behind the barrier. He said, “Film my hands reaching for freedom.”
Although he didn’t want us to know his name, he wanted to tell us about the lockdown.
“The Government said that lockdown would last for three days. He said, “Then, after that, three more, then three additional, and now three more,” from behind the iron corrugated fence. “We are frustrated.”
Even though there are no reports of anyone going hungry (as happened in Shanghai earlier in the year), he said: “Most supplies in short supply because many areas are locked down, and people can’t move freely.”
There is a danger that a crisis of health may be imminent. The cases are poised to reach the highest number of victims since the pandemic. Authorities have also reported three deaths in the last two days.
A massive hospital is being built in the middle of town, which is a sign of things to come.
It seems that the government is well aware of the cost. Last week, the government called for more targeted and specific responses.
Some cities started to experiment with mass testing.
However, when confronted with a surge in cases, local leaders appear to resort to the old-fashioned playbook of closure or control.
For example, in Guangzhou city center, there are far fewer cases but bars and restaurants were ordered to close.
The manager of the How Rich bar, Ms Chen, said that the news came just as the staff had finished decorating the World Cup. She said that she wasn’t happy with the policy even though she supported it.
“The effect on our business is not earnings. It is impossible to work normally. “Stop working and eat normally,” is an old saying.
It was going to be extremely difficult to get out of zero COVID. In a population with low immunity, there is a fine line between testing and locking down, or cases and death.
It is clear that zero-COVID and the government’s response will be tested over the next few days.