Curbs start crawling back in China after first Covid death in 6 months | Top points

Most parts of China have started introducing fresh restrictions as the number of Covid cases in the country continues to rise.

India Today Web Desk

New Delhi,Updated: November 21, 2022 14:30 IST

A resident outside a neighborhood in Beijing is swabbed for a covid test. (Photo: AP)

By India Today Web Desk: With the rise in Covid cases, China has started reintroducing restrictions. The country recorded around 24,215 new infections in the last 24 hours, most of them asymptomatic.

Most infections are caused by proliferation of the Omicron sub-variant. Although the overall vaccination rate of receiving at least one dose in China is over 92%, this number is significantly lower among the elderly, particularly those over 80, where it drops to only 65%.

Also Read | Covid cases are on the rise again in China as the country reports 20,199 new infections

China announces first death in 6 months

China on Sunday announced the first new death from Covid-19 in nearly half a year as strict new measures were imposed in Beijing and across the country to combat new outbreaks.

The death of the 87-year-old Beijing man was first reported by the National Health Commission on May 26, bringing the total death toll to 5,227. The commission, however, did not provide details about the vaccination status of the deceased.

Lockdown in Baiyun district

Local authorities in Baiyun District in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou locked down the area for five days from November 21 to November 25 as Covid-19 cases continued to rise. “The risk of social transmission of the epidemic in Baiyun District continues to increase, and the prevention and control situation is dire,” the health authority said on its official WeChat account.

Beijing’s largest district urged residents to stay at home

Beijing’s most populous district urged residents to stay home on Monday, extending a request over the weekend as the city’s Covid-19 cases surged, many businesses closed and area schools moved classes online.

Nationally, the number of new cases remained steady near April’s peak on Sunday as China battles outbreaks in cities across the country from Zhengzhou in central Henan province to Guangzhou in the south and Chongqing in the southwest.

Chinese Capital reports 621 new infections

The Chinese capital reported 621 new infections on Saturday, up from 515 a day earlier. As of 3 pm on Sunday, it had added another 516 new infections.

Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, told a media briefing that “currently, the number of cases discovered outside quarantine is increasing rapidly, and there is a risk of hidden transmission from multiple places.” He said, the pressure on Beijing has increased.

Also Read | How Chinese Citizens Fooled Censors to Criticize Strict Covid Restrictions

Online classes are running in 7 Beijing districts

Officials said Panyu district will resume in-person schools for elementary and middle school students on Monday, while online teaching continues in seven of the city’s 11 districts. Under a series of measures unveiled this month, Chinese health authorities have sought more targeted Covid-19 restrictions, raising investors’ hopes for more significant easing even as China grapples with its first winter of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Many analysts expect such changes to begin only in March or April, but the government argues that President Xi Jinping’s signature zero-covid policy saves lives. Experts warn that a full reopening will require a massive vaccination booster effort and a change in messaging in a country where the disease is widely feared.

(with agency input)

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