Mon, 05 Dec 2022

Guangzhou [China], November 9 (ANI): Covid-19 cases witnessed a sharp rise in the Chinese manufacturing hub, Guangzhou, which forced the city's authorities to put their third district under lockdown, CNN reported.

Chinese city Guangzhou recorded 2,637 local infections on Tuesday, which is nearly one-third of the new cases across China. Currently, China is witnessing a six-month high in infections nationwide.

As the world is coming out from the pandemic shell, China still insists on imposing lockdowns, mass testing, and quarantine to curb the covid cases. China's draconian zero-covid policy seems to be their only path whenever the covid cases emerge.

The city of 19 million has become the epicenter of China's latest Covid outbreak, logging more than 1,000 new cases - a relatively high figure by the country's zero-Covid standards, for four straight days.

The zero-tolerance approach has faced an increasing challenge from the highly transmissible Omicron variant, and its heavy economic and social costs have drawn mounting public backlash, according to CNN.

The rise of covid cases in Guangzhou will impact the country's economy as it is the major economic powerhouse for China and a global manufacturing hub.

Apart from Guangzhou, two more districts were locked down on Wednesday as the outbreak widened.

On Wednesday afternoon, a third district, the outlying Panyu, announced a lockdown that will last till Sunday. The district also banned private vehicles and bicycles from the streets.

Meanwhile, the residents in Liwan were asked to stay at home unless it is important. Colleges and universities were asked to shut down their gates, while schools became online again and daycare centers closed. Restaurant dining was banned and businesses ordered to shut, apart from those providing essential supplies.

Mass testing has been rolled out in nine districts across the city, and more than 40 subway stations have been closed. Residents deemed in close contact with infected persons - which in China can range from neighbors to those living in the same building or even residential compound - have been transferred en masse to centralized quarantine facilities, reported CNN.

"At present, there is still the risk of community spread in non-risk areas, and the outbreak remains severe and complex," Zhang Yi, deputy director of the Guangzhou municipal health commission, told a news conference Tuesday.

On the Chinese social media platform, WeChat, users were seen sharing the charts comparing Guangzhou's surging covid cases with Shanghai's in late March, in the days before the eastern financial hub's bruising two-month lockdownShanghai officials initially denied a citywide lockdown was necessary, but then imposed one after the city reported 3,500 daily infections.

The decision of Chinese authorities disappoint the people who were hoping that government would ease restrictions that have impacted the economy of China and strained the patience of people. On China's Twitter-like platform, Weibo, users were criticizing zero-covid measures in the Cantonese language.

"I learn Cantonese curse words in real-time hot search every day," CNN quoted one Weibo user saying.

Meanwhile, local authorities nationwide are under pressure to ramp up Covid control measures despite mounting public frustration.

This week, videos from China went viral where the Covid workers were seen in hazmat suits and beating the residents. Following an outcry, police in Linyi city, Shandong province said, in a statement, on Tuesday that seven Covid workers had been detained following a clash with residents. (ANI)

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