The number of daily cases of Covid-19 reached a new record in China this Thursday, informed the authorities, at a time when they are re-imposing strict preventive measures, within the scope of the ‘zero Covid’ strategy.
China registered 31,444 new cases in the last 24 hours, among which 27,517 are asymptomatic, according to the Ministry of Health.
These numbers are higher than the 29,317 infections registered in mid-April, when Shanghai – the third most populous city in the world – imposed a confinement, which was marked by scenes of violence and food shortages.
This week, authorities also reported China’s first Covid-19 deaths in six months, bringing the total to 5,232.
China, the world’s most populous country with around 1.4 billion people, is the only major economy still trying to contain the spread of the virus.
The ‘zero cases’ strategy includes the confinement of entire cities, the obligation to present a negative test for the new coronavirus to access public spaces and the isolation of all positive cases and their direct contacts in designated facilities, often in degrading conditions . China has also kept its borders virtually closed since March 2020.
Beijing is facing the worst outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. Dozens of residential buildings were on lockdown, schools closed and businesses asked employees to work from home.
The Chinese capital announced about 1,500 new positive cases (the vast majority asymptomatic), among its 22 million inhabitants. This week, the city opened a makeshift hospital in an exhibition center and suspended access to the Beijing University of International Studies after detecting a case on the campus.
In Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, a total of 6.6 million residents were instructed to stay at home for the next five days, only allowed to go out to buy food or receive medical treatment. Daily mass testing has been ordered, as part of what the city government has dubbed the “annihilation war” of the virus.
Businesses and residential communities in Guangzhou, a major industrial hub in Guangdong province, have also been placed under various forms of lockdown, measures that particularly affect migrant workers. In many cases, residents say the restrictions go beyond what national guidelines allow.
Guangzhou on Monday suspended access to Baiyun district, home to 3.7 million people, as residents of some areas of Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million people southwest of Beijing, were told to stay indoors while they are carried out. mass testing.