Covid 19: New lockdowns in China as cases rise

Some Chinese cities are imposing new travel restrictions, even lockdowns, to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, and Shanghai is preparing for a massive screening campaign after contamination with subvariant BA.5 from Omicron was discovered. .

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

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

The BA.5 sub-variant plays spoilsport

According to health authorities, the highly infectious BA.5 subvariant has shown greater ability to evade vaccination-produced antibodies than other Omicron subvariants.

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

Shanghai, a megacity of 25 million people, asked residents in 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 there, but remains minimal compared to numbers elsewhere in the world.

The latest cases were identified in people already in quarantine.

Restrictions and lockdowns across China

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

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

The four main areas of Lanzhou and the cities of Danzhou and Haikou are under restrictions for several days, and entertainment venues and cultural spaces are 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.

Hubert Gildon

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