China is ramping up anti-COVID measures in megacities as infections rise

China is ramping up anti-COVID measures in megacities as infections rise
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  • China reported 2,089 new local cases for October. 10
  • Shanghai is ramping up regular testing for its 25 million residents
  • China warns of the dangers of any large-scale rebound

BEIJING, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Shanghai and other major Chinese cities, including Shenzhen, have ramped up testing for COVID-19 as infections surge, with some local authorities hastily closing schools, entertainment venues and tourist attractions.

Infections rose to their highest level since August, with the surge following an increase in domestic travel during the National Day “Golden Week” earlier this month.

Officials reported 2,089 new local infections for October. 20 at most since August 10.

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While many cases have been detected in tourist areas, including scenic spots in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, megacities, often sources of well-traveled tourists, began reporting more cases this week.

Shanghai, with a population of 25 million, reported 28 local cases for October. 10, double-digit increases on the fourth day.

Seeking to avoid a repeat of the economically and psychologically wounding April-May lockdown, Shanghai said late Monday that all 16 regions would conduct mass testing at least twice a week until November. 10, a step of once a week under the regime applied after the last lock.

Officials said checks on arriving travelers and places like hotels should also be stepped up.

The widening web of events has already ensnared some.

Peter Lee, a long-time British expat, was at lunch with his wife and seven-year-old son last week when he was told the block of flats was to close.

Lee and his son then went to a hotel that was soon closed because it had been previously visited by a virus carrier. Lee’s wife, who had planned to join them, had no choice but to return home.

“Maybe we say, we miss home and we miss mom a lot and maybe we just go home and deal with it,” Lee told Reuters.

“We’re monitoring the situation because Shanghai is gradually closing down anyway, and if everything starts to close down, it won’t do much to come and go.”


According to Nomura, 36 Chinese cities were under varying degrees of lockdown or control on Monday, affecting 196.9 million people, up from 179.7 million the previous week.

In Shenzhen, China’s southern tech hub, where the highly transmissible BF.7 Omicron subvariant was discovered, local cases more than tripled to 33 in October. 10 from the day before.

On Tuesday, officials in the city of 18 million people said arriving travelers would undergo three tests over three days.

In the northwestern city of Xian, which has reported more than 100 cases since October. 1-10, authorities suspended offline classes in schools and closed many public places, including the famous Terracotta Warriors Museum.

Daily buses carrying tens of thousands of people from nearby Tianjin and Hebei to work in Beijing will be suspended from Wednesday due to a resurgence of COVID.

Despite China’s very small caseload compared to the rest of the world and its anti-epidemic policies having a clear impact on the economy and population, the government has repeatedly urged people to accept the measures.

“Once a large-scale rebound occurs, the epidemic will spread and will definitely have a serious impact on economic and social development, and the final price will be higher and the losses will be greater,” the state-controlled People’s Daily newspaper reported. comment on Tuesday.

The steps taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 come a few days before the Communist Party congress, which will begin in October. Xi Jinping is expected to extend his leadership on the 16th. read more

“Given the priority to keep things under control ahead of the crucial meeting, the recent revival of severe COVID-19 restrictions is likely to be temporary,” said analysts at US alternative asset management firm Clocktower Group.

“However, the fact that the People’s Daily has tripled the zero-COVID-19 narrative is indeed a major concern, and suggests that a major policy recalibration may still be a long way off.”

(This story has been refiled to restore the dropped word in paragraph 6.)

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Reporting by Ryan Woo, Casey Hall and Jason Xue; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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