High number of infections: China reports dramatic corona situation

For a long time, the corona pandemic in China was considered defeated and the government pursued a tough zero-Covid policy. But now the number of infections is increasing rapidly again, to the highest level since February 2020.

With the highest number of corona infections in two years, China has again imposed a tough lockdown on millions of people. The authorities announced on Sunday that the number of infections had doubled to almost 3,400 within a day. This is the highest number of new infections since February 2020.

In the economic metropolis of Shenzhen, one of the largest cities in the country, the authorities imposed a one-week curfew on all 17 million residents. The residents would also have to undergo three rounds of corona tests, the authorities said on Sunday. Shenzhen borders Hong Kong, which is currently struggling with a violent corona wave.

People’s Republic takes action

After the first cases in Shenzhen, the authorities had already cordoned off the city’s business center, but the virus continued to spread. On Sunday, authorities reported 66 new cases of infection – a fraction of the 32,430 new cases registered in Hong Kong on the same day.

In the city of Jilin in northeast China, a lockdown was imposed in numerous districts, and all residents had to complete six rounds of corona tests. Since Saturday, more than 2,200 new infections with the omicron variant of the coronavirus have been reported from Jilin alone. According to state media reports, the mayor was deposed.

Changchun: A volunteer disinfects an area. The northeast Chinese metropolis was put into a lockdown after several hundred corona infections. (Source: dpa)

In the neighboring city of Changchun, which has a population of nine million, the authorities had already ordered a lockdown on Friday. The head of the health commission there was also dismissed. Since Sunday, all of the approximately 700,000 residents of the city of Yanji on the border with North Korea have not been able to leave their homes.

In Shanghai, several residential complexes were locked down for two days and a number of schools, restaurants and shopping centers were closed. If you want to visit or leave the metropolis, you need a negative corona test.

Strict zero covid policy

The corona virus was first discovered in China at the end of 2019. However, the country was able to contain the incidence of infection quite quickly with a strict zero-Covid policy in its territory. As soon as a single case of infection occurred, the authorities imposed strict measures such as curfews, the sealing off of entire districts and mass tests.

Nevertheless, the People’s Republic is currently experiencing the worst corona crisis in two years, and the virus is active in 18 provinces. Doubts about the zero-Covid strategy are also growing. Prime Minister Li Keqiang said a week ago in his annual address to the National People’s Congress that the country must “constantly optimize” its measures against the epidemic.

Local authorities in particular are increasingly pushing for milder and more targeted measures to contain the virus. On Friday, the state health commission announced that it would make rapid antigen tests available to all citizens for “self-checking” in addition to the usual PCR tests.