SHANGHAI/BEIJING: Record COVID-19 infections were recorded in Beijing and a number of other major Chinese cities on Monday, increasing the pressure on the government to quickly contain outbreaks while simultaneously attempting to minimise the effects on people’s lives and on economic activities.
The National Health Commission recorded 16,072 new locally transmitted cases nationwide, up from 14,761 on Sunday and the largest in China since April 25, when Shanghai was dealing with its worst outbreak. Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Zhengzhou all experienced their worst day to yet, however in the capital there were only a few hundred cases compared to thousands in the other cities.
The number of cases is quite low in comparison to the levels of infection seen in other nations, but China’s zero-COVID policy, which requires outbreaks to be stopped as soon as they start, has had a greater negative impact on communities and the economy.
The National Health Commission updated its COVID regulations on Friday, easing restrictions to the greatest extent to date. The commission referred to the updates as an “optimisation” of its efforts to lessen the impact on people’s lives.
Although lockdowns for people, neighbourhoods, and public areas may still be necessary to stop illnesses from spreading, the commission reduced some regulations, such as the length of close contacts’ quarantine periods.A significant annoyance for those involved in contact-tracing efforts when a case is discovered is that secondary close contacts are no longer detected and placed into isolation.
In an effort to limit the number of persons affected by control measures, areas considered to be at risk of larger outbreaks are now divided into “high” and “low” categories.