China’s Guangzhou brings back mass testing to fight city’s worst COVID outbreak

China’s Guangzhou brings back mass testing to fight city’s worst COVID outbreak

  • Five of Guangzhou’s 11 districts will undergo mass testing
  • Guangzhou’s COVID-19 caseload tops 2,000 for second day
  • Local cases in China have reached their highest level since April 30

BEIJING, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Millions of residents in China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou were told on Wednesday to be tested for COVID-19 as infections topped two thousand in two days, the city’s worst outbreak so far.

As local cases in China hit their highest level since April 30, authorities announced on social media that five counties representing more than half of Guangzhou’s population of nearly 19 million were to undergo mass testing.

The latest round of mass testing in Guangzhou comes as China battles a resurgence of infections in several economically important cities, including the capital Beijing, as well as Zhengzhou and Chongqing, which have dampened hopes that the world’s second-largest economy could ease restrictions. and limitations. soon.

Authorities are determined to rise against the outbreak and make good on President Xi Jinping’s zero-covid policy without imposing the massive lockdown that shut down Shanghai earlier this year.

Areas in Guangzhou subject to mass testing this week include Haizhou, which has seen most of the city’s cases. The entire lockdown of the region from Saturday to Monday has been extended until Friday as cases increase.

“My apartment complex in Tianhe (district) has been locked down since yesterday,” said Guangzhou resident Jason Li.

“I was suddenly informed about my building, residents were instructed not to leave our building.”

Lee said she was not told how long her building would be closed.

“Thank God I’ve been stocking up on groceries lately,” she said.

Guangzhou resident Lily Li said the outbreak in the city had worsened over the past two days, spreading to Tianhe, just north of Haizhou.

“Honestly, it’s already a big surprise that Tiane wasn’t hurt sooner,” he said.

Guangzhou reported 2,637 new locally transmitted COVID cases for Nov. 8, up from 2,377 a day earlier, in the city’s worst outbreak to date and accounting for nearly a third of infections. 8176 new local infections reported in China on the day.

ECONOMIC HOLIDAY

In the latest sign of how anti-virus products are squeezing consumer demand, China factory gate prices For October, it fell for the first time since December 2020, and consumer inflation moderated, partly due to tighter COVID restrictions.

In Central China, Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn (2317.TW) said he would continue to maintain closed loop operations – a system where staff live on-site, isolated from the wider world, in their iPhone factory, even as the economic zone where the factory was located lifted the seven-day lockdown.

Foxconn declined to disclose the number of infections or comment on the conditions of those infected. Problems at the factory have hit iPhone production, prompting Apple to say on Monday that it expects fewer shipments of the premium iPhone 14 models.

Although China’s cases of COVID are small by global standards, the policy response has been relentless, and mass testing of large populations has been the norm since 2020.

Mass testing is generally free, but some local governments are resuming testing charges as their finances are strained by a slowing economy.

Even Chengdu, the sprawling capital of southwestern Sichuan province, will end free COVID tests after Nov. 30.

Reflecting the financial stress that COVID testing has placed on small towns, a COVID testing company in Suchang, Henan Province on Tuesday threatened to stop all testing work from Friday due to late payments by authorities. The company said Wednesday that the payment issue had been resolved and testing would continue.

Reporting by Liz Lee, Bernard Orr, Martin Quinn Pollard and the Beijing News Service; Additional reporting by Josh Yeh in Hong Kong; Editing by Stephen Coates, Tom Hogg and Simon Cameron-Moore

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