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China reports highest COVID-19 new daily cases since Feb 2020

China reports highest COVID-19 new daily cases since Feb 2020

FILE PHOTO: Police and security members in protective suits stand outside cordoned off food stores following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China March 29, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BEIJING: China on Sunday (Apr 3) reported a total of 13,287 new daily cases for Apr 2, the highest level since February 2020, with the majority in northeastern Jilin province and the financial hub of Shanghai which has virtually locked down the entire city.

The country reported 1,506 confirmed coronavirus cases in the previous day, the national health authority said on Sunday, down from 2,129 a day earlier.

But the number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, surged to 11,781 on Saturday compared with 7,869 a day earlier.

Of the new confirmed cases, 1,455 were locally transmitted, with 956 detected from Jilin and 438 from Shanghai.

Shanghai, home of 25 million people, will carry out city-wide antigen testing on Sunday and mass nucleic acid testing on Monday, a senior official from the Shanghai health authority said at a press conference on Sunday.

"The main task is to completely eliminate risk points and to cut off the chain of transmission so that we can curb the spread of the epidemic as soon as possible," said Wu Qianyu, inspector from Shanghai Municipal Health Commission.

Chinese Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan on Saturday also urged Shanghai city to "make resolute and swift moves" to curb the pandemic.

The city has been striving to stop the outbreak by imposing a two-stage lockdown, prompting manufacturers to halt operations and causing severe congestion at Shanghai port, the world's biggest container transporting hub.

"QUIET STREETS"

The streets of Shanghai were quiet Sunday as a citywide lockdown dragged on, with nearly 70 per cent of the national infection caseload discovered from mass testing its 25 million residents.

But city authorities have conceded they are struggling to contain the outbreak, with thousands now in state quarantine and the capacity of health workers stretched.

Anger is rising among residents over lockdowns that were initially planned to last just for four days, but now appear likely to drag on for several more days as fresh rounds of mass testing are carried out.

Parents have expressed fears of separation from their children in the event of a positive test, while residents have griped about a lack of fresh food and the ability to walk dogs outside.

Shanghai Port Group said in a statement that "operation at Shanghai Port is stable and orderly".

Refinitiv data showed that congestion off Shanghai for containers and oil tankers has been easing since Mar 31, but the number of bulkers queuing in outer Yangtze estuary anchorage jumped to nearly 90, the highest level since early October 2021.

An acute surge of vessels waiting is also recorded at ports near Shanghai, such as Ningbo in Zhejiang province, as some firms have diverted cargo to avoid prolonged logistics turnarounds.

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Source: Agencies/ac

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