Coronavirus: New restrictions in China and massive inspection in Shanghai

Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo

Beijing, July 11 (Reuters) – Several Chinese cities are imposing new travel restrictions and even lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, as Shanghai prepares for a massive testing campaign after a case of Omicron BA.5 contamination was discovered. subvariant.

China is sticking to its “dynamic zero-covid” strategy despite the low number of new infections.

However, the restrictions must be as precise as possible to limit their impact on the world’s second largest economy, the government announced.

According to health authorities, the highly infectious BA.5 subvariant has shown better abilities to evade vaccine-produced antibodies than other Omicron subvariants.

It has been found in several cities across the country, notably Xian, Shaanxi Province, and Dalian, Liaoning, hundreds of kilometers on either side of Beijing.

Shanghai, a megalopolis of 25 million people, asked residents of several districts to undergo two screenings between Tuesday and Thursday.

From July 5 the daily number of infections due to local transmission has increased by several dozen, but remains minimal compared to numbers elsewhere in the world.

The most recent cases have been identified in people already in quarantine.

China reported 352 new local infections on Sunday, including 46 symptomatic and 306 asymptomatic.

The city of Qinyang, in Henan province, in the center of the country, has put its roughly 700,000 residents under almost complete lockdown since Sunday, with one person per household allowed to run errands every two days.

Four important districts of Lanzhou in the northwest and the cities of Danzhou and Haikou in the south are under a multi-day curfew, with entertainment venues and cultural spaces closed.

Almost six million people were affected in these three cities.

Nanchang, a city in the southern province of Jiangxi, has a population of 6.3 million. residents, closed some entertainment venues indefinitely on Saturday.

Macau, the only place in China where casinos are allowed, went into lockdown on Monday for the first time in more than two years after registering around 1,500 cases of infection since mid-June.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo, French version by Laetitia Volga, narrated by Bertrand Boucey)

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