China records its biggest number of Covid cases for TWO YEARS

China records its biggest number of Covid cases for TWO YEARS – with clusters emerging in more than a dozen cities

  • China reported 526 infections that were spotted over the last 24 hours
  • This was the highest daily tally in two years, since the outbreak in Wuhan
  • It challenges the country’s zero Covid policy that aims to eliminate the virus 

China today recorded its highest number of Covid cases for two years, as clusters emerge in several major cities.

The country reported 526 infections spotted over the last 24 hours, including 312 that it said were asymptomatic — not displaying any warning signs.

This was the highest daily tally since the initial Wuhan outbreak at the beginning of the pandemic. 

China has been pursuing a zero Covid policy, which sees its cities lockdown and mass testing imposed when a case is detected.

But the more transmissible Omicron variant has repeatedly broken through these defences in the country sparking clusters of cases.

China also faces accusations for failing to report the number of cases detected accurately, with the true total thought to be higher. 

The spike comes as cases spiral out of control across the border in the southern Chinese territory of Hong Kong, where hospitals have been overflowing with patients and locals are panic-buying fearing a lockdown.

Questions have been raised about the sustainability of China’s heavy-handed control strategy coupled with concerns about the efficacy of Chinese vaccines.

Covid was first detected in China in late 2019 and since then Beijing has responded to each local outbreak with harsh snap lockdowns and mass testing along with state-mandated tech to track people’s movements.

In Hong Kong there has been mixed messaging about whether officials will follow the mainland’s lockdown policy and there have also been signs that Beijing is reconsidering zero-Covid.

A top Chinese scientist said last week that the country should aim to co-exist with the virus and could move away from the zero-tolerance strategy ‘in the near future’.

However, National People’s Congress spokesman Zhang Yesui poured cold water on that idea Friday ahead of China’s annual parliamentary meetings where policies are set for the coming year.

‘The path is correct and results are good,’ Zhang said.

‘Any prevention and control measures will have some costs, but compared to protecting people’s lives and health, these costs are worth it.’


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