China faces severe lockdown as cases surge, reports highest COVID-19 numbers since start of pandemic

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, March 14, 2022, 10:23 AM IST
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China is scrambling to address its most severe Covid-19 outbreak in two years, reporting soaring cases in a fresh wave that has seen the country tweak its zero-Covid policy by allowing rapid antigen tests (RATs) for public use.

On Sunday, the country reported 3,100 new locally transmitted cases in a single day, which is the highest in two years. Some local authorities have attributed the surge in cases to the Omicron variant.


After topping 1,000 for two days in a row, new locally transmitted cases surged to more than 3,100, this time driven by a spike in symptomatic infections, the National Health Commission reported on Sunday.

China's case count is far lower than those of many other countries, but the growing number could complicate Beijing's "dynamic-clearance" ambition to suppress contagion as quickly as possible.


The southern tech hub of Shenzhen told all residents to stay at home as the city struggles to eradicate an Omicron flare-up linked to neighbouring virus-ravaged Hong Kong.

The lockdown and a suspension of public transport will last until Mar 20, a city government notice said, adding that it would launch three rounds of mass testing.

Meanwhile, Changchun, an industrial base of nine million people, was locked down on Friday while a few other cities have been closed down since March 1.

On Saturday, Jilin city was partially locked down while Yanjim an urban area of 700,000 people, was placed under lockdown on Sunday.

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