New China Covid Flareups Raise Risk of More Disruptive Curbs

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BEIJING (Bloomberg): Fresh outbreaks around key Chinese cities and the ongoing Covid-19 spread in Beijing are raising the spectre of more disruptive pandemic curbs, even as Shanghai slowly emerges from its six-week lockdown,says an article published in TheStar.

The capital reported 69 new Covid-19 cases for Tuesday (May 17), up from 52 on Monday. Yesterday, city officials said the Fengtai district will lock down some areas for the next seven days after new clusters flared, amplifying the risk of community spread.

Gruelling lockdown

In Tianjin, where an earlier outbreak in January disrupted global automakers Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG, cases rose to 55 on Tuesday from 28 on Monday. A cluster is also ballooning in Sichuan province, which reported 201 cases for Tuesday.

The flareups come as Shanghai, the epicentre of China’s worst outbreak since the early days of the pandemic, starts to emerge from a gruelling lockdown.

While cases in the financial hub rose slightly to 855 on Tuesday from 823 on Monday, no infections were found outside of government quarantine for a fourth day.

Grocery errands

A day earlier, the city hit the crucial milestone of three consecutive days of zero cases in the community, the metric authorities had said would allow them to unwind the strict curbs that hampered economic activity and curtailed almost every aspect of daily life for residents.

However, many restrictions remain in place in the city.

Residents must produce a pass to exit their compounds and can only leave by bike or on foot. The passes are distributed to each apartment by residential committees, allowing one person per family to leave during appointed hours for grocery errands.

According to passes seen by Bloomberg News, many compounds will allow residents to leave twice in the next four days, for a maximum of four hours at a time.

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Source: TheStar

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