China reported two new deaths from the coronavirus on Monday, both elderly Beijing residents, as several major cities persisted with strict virus curbs despite a much-touted recent loosening.
The last major economy wedded to a zero-Covid policy, Chinese authorities have continued to impose snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in response to emerging outbreaks.
Despite the central government this month announcing its most significant easing of the measures so far, authorities in many areas have stuck to hardline curbs as the number of new cases has spiked.
Monday’s deaths involved a 91-year-old woman with a history of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, and an 88-year-old man with a history of cancer, bronchitis and stroke, local authorities said.
On Sunday, Beijing announced China’s first Covid fatality since May: an 87-year-old man whose mild case worsened after he contracted a bacterial infection.
New cases in the Chinese capital jumped to 962 on Monday from 621 the day before, as authorities maintained a patchwork of restrictions in an effort to extinguish emerging flare-ups.
Nearly 600 areas of the city are currently “high-risk,” a designation that typically requires residents to isolate for several days in their housing units or move to state quarantine facilities.
In some neighborhoods, schools have been ordered to move classes online and office employees told to work from home.
Hardline curbs were also in place in other cities, including the southern industrial hub of Guangzhou — where tens of thousands of new cases have emerged in the past week — and northern Shijiazhuang, where officials have ordered residents in six districts to undergo mass testing.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter