New local COVID-19 infections have set a new record for cases, beating the rate recorded in mid-April when the country’s commercial hub of Shanghai was paralyzed by a citywide lockdown of its 25 million residents that lasted two months. Reuters. China reported 32,695 new local cases, of which 3,041 were symptomatic and 29,654 were asymptomatic, up from 31,144 the day before. Major outbreaks are numerous and widespread, with the majority of cases occurring in the southern city of Guangzhou and southwestern Chongqing, although hundreds of new infections are reported daily in cities such as Chengdu, Jinan, Lanzhou, Xi’an and Wuhan.
Shanghai authorities reported nine symptomatic and 77 asymptomatic cases versus nine symptomatic and 58 asymptomatic cases reported the previous day. Guangzhou, a city in the south with a population of almost 19 million, reported 257 new local cases with symptoms and 7,267 asymptomatic, compared with 428 symptomatic and 7,192 asymptomatic cases a day earlier. In Guangzhou, authorities have begun building a new quarantine camp designed for 87,000 people. If the authorities change the status of a citizen’s coronavirus passport to red, then the person will be isolated.
The number of cases in Shijiazhuang quadrupled to 3,197 on Thursday from the previous day. Beijing authorities reported 424 symptomatic and 1,436 asymptomatic cases, compared with 509 symptomatic and 1,139 asymptomatic the day before.
Among the new measures, Guangzhou imposed a five-day quarantine in the Baiyun area on Monday to contain the rise in cases. Residents are required to stay at home and public transport has been suspended, although areas that have not reported infections for three consecutive days may lift restrictions, reports Guardian. The government of the northeastern city of Changchun in Jilin province has urged its residents to stop non-essential movement and avoid going to public places, restaurants and social gatherings.
Shanghai has tightened restrictions on entry into the city. A post on the City Hall’s official WeChat account says people arriving in the city will be tested for COVID-19 and banned from restaurants and malls, among other public places, for five days after their arrival. Beijing has introduced new testing requirements for incoming travelers and residents. A negative PCR test result is required within 48 hours for visitors to shopping malls, government buildings, hotel guests.
While the number of cases is relatively low compared to global numbers, even small outbreaks in China often result in districts and cities being closed. This week, authorities reported the first death from COVID-19 in six months, bringing the total death toll to 5,232.