Covid-19 surges in China as nation records 2,591 local cases in 24 hrs

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Witnessing a COVID surge, China on Tuesday reported 2,591 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.

Of the new local infections, 2,320 were reported in the province of Jilin, 110 in Fujian, 36 in Liaoning, 24 each in Tianjin and Shandong, 15 in Guangdong and 13 in Heilongjiang, Xinhua reported.

The rest of the cases were reported in 12 other provincial-level regions, including Hebei and Jiangxi.

According to the commission, a total of 76 imported COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday. It further said that three suspected cases, all imported, were reported in Shanghai, as per Xinhua.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic situation in China continues to heat up as more than 20 provinces and cities have imposed travel bans and lockdowns.

The situation in more than 20 provinces and cities including Jilin, Hebei, Guangdong, and Shanghai has deteriorated.

China is facing mounting pressure to guard against infections amid a recent surge in cases throughout the country.

Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that Beijing will stick to its “zero Covid-19” policy, days after National Health Commission (NHC) released new guidelines easing its control measures.NHC had uploaded a new document on its website. Titled the Novel Coronavirus Diagnosis And Treatment Plan, it was the ninth revision to a document setting out COVID-19 policy for the country of 1.4 billion.

China’s zero-COVID policy is pushing cash-strapped local governments to the brink amid rising health care costs and efforts to control debt.

Business Standard

Shanghai Warns Against ‘Panic’ As Covid Cases Mount

Shanghai authorities on Wednesday called for calm as worried citizens swamped online grocery platforms to stock up on food over fears of impending lockdowns in a city struggling to halt a Covid spike.

China is experiencing its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, with Shanghai posting record-high case counts as the highly transmissible Omicron variant frustrates authorities.

China’s biggest city on Wednesday reported 981 cases — all but four of them asymptomatic — a number that dwarfs any previous daily tally in the city and which is nearly one-fifth of the day’s national total.

Shanghai has responded to the outbreak with targeted residential lockdowns in areas with confirmed cases or close contacts rather than a city-wide lockdown, aiming to minimise disruption.

But as case counts rise, so has public anxiety, with residents taking to social media to express fears of further lockdowns across the city of roughly 25 million people.

Stores have bustled as consumers stock up, and social media images circulated late Tuesday showed crowds of shoppers converging on outdoor vegetable markets. The images could not be independently verified.

Online shoppers on Wednesday posted complaints that platforms were crashing under the strain or that some goods were unavailable.

Ibtimes

Covid-19 cases continue to rise in China’s worst outbreak since Wuhan

China reported thousands of new local Covid-19 cases Sunday as the Omicron variant drove the worst outbreak in the country since Wuhan in early 2020, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

Health officials said 2,125 cases were reported across 58 cities in 19 of 31 mainland provinces, marking the fourth consecutive day China reported more than 1,000 daily local cases. More than 10,000 cases have been reported since the latest outbreak began in early March, the NHC said.

Saturday, the commission reported 3,122 local cases — the highest number of daily infections since the Wuhan outbreak and the first time new cases have exceeded 3,000 in a day, NHC data showed.

Throughout the pandemic, China has adhered to a strict zero-Covid policy that aims to stamp out all outbreaks and chains of transmission using a combination of border controls, mass testing, quarantine procedures and lockdowns.

Nearly half of the total infections in the latest outbreak have been reported in northeastern Jilin province, with 4,605 cases since March 1, when the first clusters of cases in Jilin’s border city Yanbian were identified, according to the provincial government.

The bulk of cases on Sunday, 1,026, were also reported in Jilin province, according to the NHC. Jilin province’s city of Jilin has locked down 504 neighborhoods and launched eight rounds of mass testing, the municipal government said.

Two major Chinese cities — northeastern industrial hub Changchun and southern economic hub Shenzhen — are under lockdown, with more than 26 million residents forbidden from leaving their homes.

Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, recorded 66 positive cases Saturday and health authorities announced in a news release Sunday evening that from March 14 to March 20, all businesses in the city — apart from those deemed essential or supplying Hong Kong — would suspend operations or introduce work from home measures.

Public transport has also been suspended, as well as indoor dining, while all public venues excluding grocery stores and pharmacies have been closed, the authorities said.

CNN

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