China Covid outbreak grows with millions under lockdown

Published July 17, 2022
People queue for the mass coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing near the Ruins of Saint Paul's in Macau, China June 20. — Reuters
People queue for the mass coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing near the Ruins of Saint Paul's in Macau, China June 20. — Reuters

BEIJING: China on Saturday reported its highest number of coronavirus cases since May, with millions in lockdown this weekend as authorities persist with their zero-Covid policy.

Using snap lockdowns, long quarantines and mass testing, China is the last major economy still pursuing the goal of eliminating outbreaks, even as the strategy takes a heavy toll on the economy. China reported 450 local infections on Saturday, up from 432 a day earlier.

Most cases were asymptomatic. The rising wave of cases led to fresh restrictions this week in some parts of the country.

Lanzhou, the capital of northwestern Gansu province, ordered its 4.4 million residents to stay home starting on Wednesday, and a county in Anhui province went into lockdown from Friday. Beihai in the southern Guangxi region on Saturday also announced lockdowns in parts of two districts that are home to more than 800,000 people.

“Currently, the epidemic prevention and control situation in Beihai city is severe and complicated, and the risk of hidden transmission in the community is relatively high,” said a government notice announcing the restrictions. Earlier in the week, the steelmaking hub of Wugang in central Henan province announced a three-day lockdown over a single Covid case.

The fast-spreading Omicron variant of the virus has been a major challenge for Chinese authorities, as they try to limit the economic damage caused by Covid restrictions.

China logged its slowest second-quarter growth rate since the initial Covid outbreak, with GDP expanding just 0.4 percent on-year.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2022

Opinion

Elite politics

Elite politics

For most part, Pakistan’s fractious politics has seen fierce govt-opposition conflict and mutual efforts to upend each other.

Editorial

Extension legacy
Updated 05 Dec, 2022

Extension legacy

The practice of having individuals carry on well beyond their time is up.
Dodging accountability
05 Dec, 2022

Dodging accountability

A WARNING carried in these pages in August appears to have gone completely unheeded. Months ago, as the government...
Double standards
05 Dec, 2022

Double standards

IN a globalised world, if states fail to protect the human rights of their citizens, or worse, participate in ...
Retracted offer
04 Dec, 2022

Retracted offer

WITH so many U-turns under his belt, it was hardly surprising when on Saturday, PTI chairman Imran Khan decided to...
Embassy attack
Updated 04 Dec, 2022

Embassy attack

The Taliban should have enhanced the existing security arrangements.
Smog season
04 Dec, 2022

Smog season

FOR the past week, major cities of Pakistan have been among the top most polluted cities in the world. Lahore ranked...