BEIJING - The Chinese government is constructing a “Covid-proof” city designed to make the implementation of lockdown measures easier in future pandemics.

Located about 60 miles southwest of Beijing, the flagship new metropolis of Xiong’an was first announced by President Xi Jinping in 2017 as an innovative smart city project and potential business hub for firms unable to find space in the overcrowded capital.

But the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the focus of the project, with architects commissioned to create “blocks of apartments that are equipped to allow residents to continue to function under lockdown conditions”, according to the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.