Friday, December 9, 2022

Rising COVID-19 infections paralyses cities in China

China’s health commission in Beijing reported more than 31,000 new cases nationwide on Thursday.

• November 24, 2022
Empty city in China

A record wave of COVID-19 infections has sparked further restrictions for the population in China, with the health commission in Beijing reporting more than 31,000 new cases nationwide on Thursday.

While the number is not exceptionally high in comparison to the international landscape, it is the largest increase in cases in China since the chaos of the early days of the pandemic.

China has continued to pursue a strict zero-COVID strategy of lockdowns, daily mass testing, strict monitoring, contact tracing and forced quarantine.

Nevertheless, new infections have risen sharply again, especially in recent weeks, triggering increasing restrictions.

The Chinese government recently relaxed some COVID-19 rules, including reducing the duration of the quarantine period required when entering China from 10 to eight days.

But there can be no question of lasting relaxation.

New measures have recently been imposed in almost all major cities, including the capital, where schools, kindergartens and shops are closed, and residents are asked to stay home if possible.

Increasingly, residential complexes are also being completely sealed off.

In the particularly hard-hit southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou, which has seen violent protests against the COVID-19 measures, several districts are in total lockdown.

Shanghai, meanwhile, announced that travellers coming to the city would not be allowed to go to restaurants or shops for five days.

China’s economy has suffered under Beijing’s zero-COVID approach, which demands that any virus outbreaks be clamped down immediately.

(dpa/NAN)

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