China’s daily COVID tally hits record high with 31,454 cases: Report
At a time when China has reintroduced strict restrictions and mass testing, the nation’s daily Covid tally has hit a record high since the beginning of the pandemic, revealed the National Health Bureau data.
As the nation attempts to stop the spread with sudden lockdowns, widespread testing, and travel restrictions, government data on Thursday revealed that China's daily Covid cases had reached a record high since the start of the outbreak. On Wednesday, China reported a total of 31,454 domestic cases. Health officials said on Thursday that, excluding imported cases, there were 31,444 new local cases on November 23, of which 3,927 had symptoms and 27,517 did not. When local cases reached 29,317 on April 13, the previous record was broken by that amount.
Even small outbreaks can force the closure of entire towns under Beijing's draconian zero-Covid policy and put contacts of sick people under strict quarantine. As the epidemic approaches its third year, the relentless policy has worn on vast segments of the people, causing dissatisfaction and exhaustion. This has led to intermittent demonstrations and decreased productivity in the second-largest economy in the world.
Wednesday's figures exceed the 29,390 infections recorded in mid-April when megacity Shanghai was under lockdown, with residents struggling to buy food and access medical care.
Earlier this month, the government's Communist Party made a commitment to lessen interruptions from its "zero-Covid" plan by loosening up rules. However, the most recent round of breakouts is posing a challenge to that, leading big cities like Beijing to compel industries to separate their workforces from outside contact, close stores and offices, and block off populated neighbourhoods.
This has increased concerns that a decline in Chinese corporate activity might harm the already fragile global commerce.