The official record of daily infections by covid-19 in China broke a record this Thursday (24), with the confirmation of 31,444 cases. The count surpassed the previous peak seen in mid-April of 29,000 infections, when Shanghai was under a tight sanitary lockdown.
So far, district and city authorities are trying to balance their response against the new outbreak, without imposing excessive measures. According to the latest report by the National Health Commission, Beijing had 1,648 new cases on Thursday. The Chinese capital recorded three deaths over the weekend, officially the first victims in six months.
Beijing has not yet imposed a strict blockade, but the China Morning Post reported that more and more buildings and residential areas are being closed by the rise in infections. The city raised the 72-hour negative PCR test requirement to 48 hours for travelers and access to public buildings. Schools have adopted online classes, parks, museums and malls have been closed and residents are encouraged to stay at home.
Meanwhile, the city of Zhengzhou announced it will start a five-day lockdown from Friday to reduce the number of cases, following protests by Foxconn workers at Apple’s assembly line yesterday.
The new wave of covid-19 infections came after the Chinese Communist Party leadership adjusted its strict covid-zero policy, shortening quarantine times, easing rules for travelers and reducing the tracking of people. All to avoid further damage to the economy and contain the dissatisfaction of the population.
Meanwhile, new cases surpass the 9,000 mark in Hong Kong for the first time in over 2 months. The number of infected patients in serious or critical condition has also increased from 90 last week to more than 100 recently. Another 13 deaths related to the virus were recorded, according to the latest bulletin.
Since the start of the pandemic, Hong Kong has had 2.068 million cases, with 10,647 related deaths.
The local government announced that the first batch of the BioNTech vaccine aimed at combating the Omicron variant will arrive in the coming days.
The Department of Leisure and Cultural Services announced on Wednesday that Tsuen Wan West Sports Center and Lung Sum Avenue Sports Center will be turned into community quarantine centers, providing 119 and 128 beds respectively. In addition, starting December 2, the Choi Wing Road Sports Center will provide 144 beds for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic elderly COVID-19 patients.