Once an oasis along the northern silk road, the ancient city of Kashgar in Xinjiang is today a Uygur cultural hub as well as a regional commercial and trading center. It is now locked down over fears it is in the middle of a coronavirus outbreak.
Over last weekend and into the early week, China tested 4.74 million people in the area after a 17-year-old girl in the county of Shufu tested positive. The mass testing campaign revealed 183 people who tested positive for the coronavirus, most of whom were asymptomatic.
Officials have put the city, and the surrounding area, in strict lockdown, as I reported for the South China Morning Post. Only a handful of supermarkets and food stalls are open and essential workers are the only people allowed to leave their homes. Guards stand at the gates of housing compounds to make sure people follow the rules.
On Tuesday afternoon, I flew from Beijing to Kashgar on a press trip, hoping to get a sense of life in the city during the outbreak.