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China tightens restrictions as virus cases reported rise

Beijing – Everyone in a district of 1.8 million people in the southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou was ordered to stay home on Saturday for virus testing, while the southwestern major city closed schools as it reported another rise in infections. did.

Nationwide, a total of 11,773 infections have been reported in the past 24 hours, of which 10,351 are asymptomatic. China’s numbers are low, but last week’s increase challenges a “COVID-zero” strategy aimed at quarantining all infected people.

Quarantine for travelers arriving in China will be reduced from seven days to a minimum of five days as part of management changes announced on Friday to reduce costs and disruptions. But the ruling Communist Party has said it will stick to “zero COVID” even as other countries ease travel and other restrictions and try to move to a long-term strategy of living with the virus.

Guangzhou, a city of 13 million people, found a total of 3,775 infections, of which 2,996 were asymptomatic, according to the National Health Commission. This was up from Friday’s total of 3,030, including 2,461 of his asymptomatic cases.

People in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district were told to go to the nearest inspection station, but otherwise they were told to stay home, the district government announced on its social media account. Members were allowed to go out to buy food.

Also on Saturday, health officials warned that the decision to change antivirus controls does not mean they will end.

The change will allow some foreign businessmen and athletes visiting China to travel within the lockdown zone without a quarantine period. Rules about who counts as a contact of an infected person need to be more focused to reduce the number affected.

“This is neither relaxation nor ‘prostration’, but more precise and scientific prevention and treatment,” said Lei Haichao, deputy director of the NHC. Lei said the goal is to “prevent the epidemic and minimize its impact on economic and social development.”

Economists and public health experts say Beijing may be able to end ‘zero COVID’ by mid-2023, but tens of millions of people could die before restrictions on foreign travelers entering China end. He said older people should be vaccinated.

Nationwide, anyone wishing to enter a supermarket or other public building must show a negative test result for the virus once a day. can.

Guangzhou, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Hong Kong, has suspended school, bus and subway services across much of the city as the number of cases climbed over the past week. Flights to the Chinese capital Beijing and other major cities have been cancelled.

In the southwest, the industrial city of Chongqing has closed schools in the North and North District, population 840,000. Residents were barred from leaving a series of housing complexes in the Yubei district, though the city did not say how many were affected.

Public grievances and complaints that some people have been left without access to food and medicine have led to protests and clashes with local authorities in some areas.

Elsewhere, a total of 6.6 million people conducted large-scale tests in eight districts of Zhengzhou city on Saturday.

Access to Zhengzhou’s industrial zone, home to the world’s largest iPhone factory, was suspended last week after the outbreak. Apple Inc. has warned of delayed deliveries of new iPhone 14 models.

Despite efforts to mitigate the damage to the world’s second-largest economy, forecasters see growth recovering from 2.2% in the first half to 3.9% in the three months to September, after rebounding to 3.9% a year ago. , says business and consumer activity is weakening.

Economists have cut their annual economic growth forecast for China to 3%.

President Xi Jinping’s government has refused to import vaccines from abroad and rejected requests for more information about the origin of the virus, which was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.ksat.com/news/world/2022/11/12/china-tightens-restrictions-as-rise-in-virus-cases-reported/ China tightens restrictions as virus cases reported rise

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