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Several cities in China are halting production on non-essential services and conducting mass testing to contain an emerging Covid spike.
A recent Covid-19 spike has hit mainland China and is now seeing businesses and schools shutting down across the country. The latest Covid outbreak seems to be on the same trajectory as the 2020 pandemic that hit China almost two years ago. As of Sunday, March 13th, mainland China reported 1,437 new confirmed cases. Only 100 of these are attributable to travelers from abroad, while a total of 8,531 are domestically transmitted active cases. This number is the highest recorded since March 2020, although there are currently no reports of new deaths.
China Cities Take Action against Covid Spike
In light of the new outbreak, the city of Shenzhen is instructing all establishments not in the business of public services to suspend operations. In addition, employees who fall into the ‘non-essential’ category will have to work from home for a week, beginning on Monday, March 14th. The halt on production in Shenzhen, a southeastern city and the largest in the manufacturing hub of Guangdong province, also reportedly affects Foxconn. However, according to the same reports, the Apple supplier has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Shenzhen says that so far, there have been over 400 confirmed cases of Covid outbreaks since the end of February. The city also took other safety precautions by shutting down public transportation and instituting a third round of city-wide testing. Although China’s outbreak cases are still some way off the magnitude experienced in other countries, the East Asian nation is not taking it lightly.
Shanghai, the country’s largest municipality and a global financial hub, has seen a return to online schooling. In addition, more than a few neighborhoods are in lockdown and are carrying out mass testing schemes. Residents of these neighborhoods cannot leave until they post negative results from the testing. In fact, Shanghai, which currently has more than 600 confirmed cases, instructed residents not to leave unless absolutely necessary.
Jilin, a province bordering North Korea and Russia, reported an overnight surge over the weekend. According to the northeastern province, there are more than 1,000 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases. This brings the total number of cases so far this month to 2,900.
Hong Kong & Beijing
Hong Kong has also had its fair share of Covid resurgence cases in the last few weeks. According to Our World in Data, the region has the world’s highest number of new Covid-related deaths per million. Hong Kong became the highest because of devastating effects from Covid variant Omicron.
Beijing, China’s capital city, is on high alert for new outbreak cases. Currently operating one of the strictest Covid policies, Beijing requires travelers to undergo rigorous procedures before entering the city.
China’s vice premier Sun Chunlan weighed in on the control measures taken by the various cities and provinces. She preached more of the same in the way of strict policy control measures.