Most of the population of Shenzhen, home to the giants Huawei and Tencent, has been confined
The Chinese authorities have reported this Sunday of more than 3,100 new cases of coronavirus detected in the last 24 hours, which means tripling the figures of the last two days and confirms the worst wave of infections since the start of the pandemic.
The National Health Commission has confirmed new infections in 16 provinces in the country’s four megacities: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqingnot counting the cases of Hong Kong, which has reported 32,430 cases this Sunday. Symptomatic cases have jumped from 476 to 1,807, while asymptomatic cases have jumped from 1,048 to 1,315 in mainland China. China does not classify asymptomatic cases as cases for statistics even if they have tested positive.
Of the new local infections, 2,156 were registered in Jilin province alone. Up to 1,412 of them were cases with symptoms. In response, authorities in the cities of Jilin and Changchun have launched a massive virus testing campaign to pinpoint outbreaks.
Chinese Vice Premier, Sun Chunlan, visible head of the Government for the fight against the coronavirus, has recognized that the situation is “complicated and serious” and has called for an effort to control the outbreaks. “We must promote a model of antigen tests and PCR tests that allow people to buy tests for themselves and thus enable early detection,” Sun said in a televised interview.
The country has so far registered 114,000 infections and 4,636 deaths since the declaration of the pandemic, data that represents a tiny figure compared to other countries, since the Asian giant has a population of 1,411 million inhabitants. But even so, China has decided to impose a draconian policy of lockdowns to try to contain what would be a massive spread of the disease.
This very Sunday, the Chinese authorities have placed under confinement most of the 17 million inhabitants of the city of Shenzhen, in the south of the country and home to national tech giants such as Huawei and Tencent, as they battle the worst coronavirus outbreak since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The city has thus entered a state of quarantine after the notification of 66 new cases of coronavirus and the explosion of the omicron variant. Starting Monday, all transport throughout the city and all residential complexes will remain closed, reports the Chinese international state newspaper ‘Global Times’.
On Friday imposed a lockdown in the northeastern city of Changchun after hundreds of cases were detected there. The new restrictions only allow one person per household to leave the house to go shopping. Also, the nine million residents of the city will be tested for the virus.
Following the Wuhan outbreak in late 2019, China adopted a “zero tolerance” policy against the virus, with authorities rushing to take very strict measures to prevent its spread.
In the last two years, outbreaks have hardly existed thanks to the testing of large parts of the population and the massive closures. However, the omicron variant, detected in the country for the first time in January, has led China to take its restrictive policy further.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.