Nintendo consoles

‘Hungry’ Chinese residents ‘trade £260 Nintendo consoles for instant noodles’ in world’s toughest lockdown

CHINESE residents have reportedly swapped £260 Nintendo consoles for instant noodles amid fears of food shortages during the world’s toughest lockdown.

Authorities have banned 13 million people in Xi’an city from going out even for essential reasons, as the country tries to control one of its worst Covid outbreaks.

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A resident wanted to trade a Nintendo console for food
Others swapped cigarettes for cabbage

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Others swapped cigarettes for cabbage

Residents confined since December 23 have reportedly been seen begging for food on social media as China’s tough ‘zero Covid’ policy provides for brutal punishments for those who break quarantine.

The strict lockdown comes as a series of overwhelmingly positive studies show that Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalization is 50-70% lower than Delta.

Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of getting through the pandemic, health officials have said repeatedly.

The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get vital extra vaccines into the arms of the British to avoid the need for further restrictions.

And now, posts on Chinese social media platform Weibo claim locals are swapping expensive cigarettes and gadgets for groceries.

Footage shared showed some reportedly swapping cigarettes for cabbage, washing up liquid for apples and even a Nintendo Switch for instant noodles and steamed buns.

While government staff delivered supplies to people in lockdown, many reported they were having difficulty as they had not yet received them.

A resident named Wang told Radio Free Asia, “People are trading things with others in the same building because they don’t have enough to eat.”

According to the outlet, another man wanted to trade a smartphone and tablet for rice.

China’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid has reportedly seen authorities raiding dozens of homes in the middle of the night and forcing people onto buses to get to the quarantine camp.

It comes as a further 1.2 million people in the central Chinese city of Yuzhou have been forced into isolation after three asymptomatic Covid cases were recorded.

The measures imposed are similar to those in Xi’an, with authorities on the lookout for vehicles on the roads and violators risking ten days in detention and a fine of 500 yuan (£58).

Despite the draconian measures, China is still reporting high numbers of Covid cases.

Meanwhile, in the UK, ministers are confident there is no need to add more Covid restrictions to tackle the new Omicron wave.

The Prime Minister, who is due to hold a press conference at Downing St this evening, has said Omicron is ‘demonstrably milder’ than previous variants following studies showing it is up to 70% less harsh .

And Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), says society must soon fully reopen, warning that a fourth vaccine must not be offered until there is no more evidence because it is “unsustainable” to distribute reminders every six months.

Hospital admissions are finally dropping in London for the first time since the mutation emerged.

And a top expert says she thinks life could return to normal in just 60 days as cases peak.

Chinese authorities ‘search homes at midnight and put people on buses to quarantine camps’ in world’s toughest lockdown

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