Coronavirus breaks out once again in China even as ‘zero-COVID’ policy has already frayed tempers

Coronavirus breaks out once again in China even as 'zero-COVID' policy has already frayed tempers
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A worker in protective gear places closure notices on barricaded restaurants in a closed commercial office building as part of COVID-19 controls in Beijing, November 22, 2022. AP

Two of China’s biggest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, have tightened coronavirus rules amid rising cases, once again raising concerns about the effectiveness of the country’s zero COVID policy.

While Beijing closed parks and museums on Tuesday, Shanghai toughened rules for people entering the city.

More than 253,000 cases of coronavirus have been discovered in China in the past three weeks and the daily average is rising, the government said on Tuesday. PA reported

Guangzhou city and southwest Chongqing municipality accounted for about half of the total number of cases.

Restrictions in Beijing and Shanghai

The local government has asked residents to avoid travel. Anyone entering a public building will have a negative COVID test that is no more than two days old.

In Shanghai, which is also the country’s financial hub, those entering the city may not be able to enter places such as shopping malls and restaurants within five days of arriving.

According to Reuters, the city had earlier ordered the closure of cultural districts in seven of its sixteen neighborhoods after 48 new cases were reported.

Despite strict restrictions, China continues to witness recurring outbreaks.

Experts told Reuters that authorities should focus on a recall campaign and awareness campaigns before a full reopening.

The number of cases has been rising across China, with Beijing residents fearing a record number of new infections could prompt lockdown measures similar to those seen earlier in the year in Shanghai, which lasted for months.

The surges came just a week after China announced it would start rolling back some of the strict Covid rules that have been in place since the pandemic began in 2020, even as the rest of the world has moved on.

With contributions from agencies

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