Residents line up for coronavirus screening during the COVID-19 lockdown in Changchun in northeastern China's Jilin province. (Photo: AP)
Beijing: Amid a rapid resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, two of the country's biggest cities, Shenzhen and Shanghai, have imposed strict virus measures.
The recent spike in coronavirus cases has led to allowing rapid antigen tests for public use and resulted in the dismissal of senior officials for their slack response to the ongoing health crisis. The latest spike, described as the severest COVID-19 outbreaks in two years, has forced several major cities to go into lockdowns.
Shenzhen officials imposed a lockdown for one week. Nonessential workers are ordered to stay home and adults have been asked to undergo three P.C.R. tests. Similarly, Shanghai has entered a partial lockdown. Residents are barred from leaving the city unless it is necessary.
On Sunday, China's National Health Commission reported 3,122 new virus cases, a rise from previous totals from 1,524 on Saturday. The average number of new virus cases in the country has reached 1,370 per day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Chinese state media reported that Chinese observers warned local governments to avoid taking extreme measures such as city lockdowns, as they would harm the local economy.
China isolates all virus cases, including those in the community, as part of its COVID Zero policy. State media tabloid Global Times reported that China must strive to achieve a new breakthrough in its COVID policy.
Meanwhile, the situation is not at ease even in the autonomous region of Hong Kong. About 300,000 Covid-19 patients and their close contacts in Hong Kong are now under home quarantine, according to the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
The city chief also highlighted that it would be challenging for the authorities to keep up if the cases keep rising at the current rate.