By Fergal MacErlean • 15 March 2022 • 15:55
Credit: Creative Commons (Kobe Bryn)
The figures released on Tuesday, March 15, follow the lockdown of the entire north-eastern province of Jilin, home to 24 million people the previous day.
A total of 3,507 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms were reported on Monday across more than a dozen provinces and municipalities, up from 1,337 a day earlier, Reuters reported citing the National Health Commission.
The measure – the harshest since the beginning of the pandemic – has been enforced due to the rapid transmissibility of the Omicron variant. It comes as Coronavirus infection figures tripled from Saturday, March 12 to Sunday, March 13.
China’s zero tolerance approach is not only becoming more costly, but also suffering diminishing returns against the highly infectious Omicron, said Yanzhong Huang, senior health policy analyst at Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a U.S. think tank, Reuters reported.
“Now we have two of the wealthiest Chinese cities, Shanghai and Shenzhen, both under lockdown: how is that going to affect the Chinese economy?” he said.
Jilin residents have seen their freedom of movement severely restricted; anyone wanting to leave the province must apply for police permission.
In the tech hub southern city of Shenzhen all buses and underground services have been suspended.
Top Chinese infectious disease expert Zhang Wenhong has called the recent outbreaks “the most difficult period in the last two years of battling Covid” and that they were still in “the early stage of an exponential rise”, in an online post.
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Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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