China tightens Covid measures in large cities amid outbreaks

Beijing, Oct 28 (EFE).- China has boosted Covid-19 restrictions in several provincial capitals including Xining, Zhengzhou and Guangzhou amid a surge in cases.

Health authorities on Thursday reported 214 new symptomatic Covid-19 infections and 1,000 asymptomatic cases nationwide.

In the southern city of Guangzhou, which has a population of 15 million, authorities on Thursday enforced confinement measures for parts of the Huangpu district.

Since spring, officials in large Chinese cities have been carrying out routine PCR testing on residents, who, in turn, must be able to prove negative results from the last 24, 48 or 72 hours in order to access public spaces.

The central city of Xining is witnessing an outbreak of at least 10 symptomatic and 227 asymptomatic cases among its population of 2.2 million.

A number of areas of the city have been placed in confinement, prompting some residents to protest on social media over the high price of groceries.

Local authorities, in response, described the situation as “serious” but “under control” and said they would ensure the provision of affordable food for residents.

In Zhengzhou, a provincial capital of 10 million people, an undetermined number of people remain under orders to stay at home, according to reports seen by Efe on Chinese social media site Weibo.

The city is home to an important factory owned by Taiwanese company Foxconn — the largest assembler of iPhones in the world — and which this week had to deny rumors that 20,000 workers had tested positive for Covid-19.

China’s strict zero-Covid policy requires anyone who tests positive, and their close contacts, to undergo quarantine at designated installations.

Faced with new outbreaks, local authorities sometimes have to improvise accommodation due to the lack of space.

But while some citizens of Xining, Zhengzhou and Guangzhou have been ordered into confinement, authorities have yet to declare citywide lockdowns as they did in Shanghai and Xian several months ago amid coronavirus outbreaks, which could signal a change in approach in China.

However, some residents of Zhengzhou said the new measures were superficial, and that in reality authorities were applying a large-scale lockdown.

No such changes in the approach to Covid-19 were announced during the recent Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, held in Beijing last week.

In fact, coronavirus measures were scaled up in the capital shortly after the event. EFE


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