China closes schools as ‘complicated and severe’ coronavirus outbreak hits record highs

The Chinese megacity of Guangzhou, which became the “epicenter” of the current Chinese coronavirus epidemic this week, announced on Thursday that it would close schools and universities.

Several other cities have recorded record daily infections, including Beijing. Although the Chinese Communist Party has admitted no error with its authoritarian “zero-Covid” lockdown policies, health officials have rushed to reassure the public that some draconian restrictions will be lifted and lockdowns at city-wide would be avoided.

The Chinese state enterprise world times groped to explain the “complicated and serious epidemic situation” in Guangzhou, where “the source of some sporadic positive cases was unclear”, “the risk of community transmission was high” and “infections have now broken out in several places “.

“After China shortened the quarantine period for people entering the country from overseas to ‘7+3’ days in the middle of this year, some voices attributed the latest outbreak of infections in Guangzhou to the measures of ‘border entry, arguing that it would be better to extend the quarantine time’, world times wrote.

The “7+3” quarantine plan for travelers was one of the first relaxations of the strict coronavirus policy made by the Chinese government. The name refers to seven days of hotel quarantine followed by three days of self-monitoring for travellers. On Friday, the National Health Commission (NHC) reduced the requirement followed 5+3 as part of a 20-point plan that also moved away from mass coronavirus testing.

Workers in personal protective equipment (PPE) in a neighborhood under quarantine due to coronavirus in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The new NHC coronavirus guidelines also ended the onerous practice of tracking “secondary contacts” with infected people and lifted financial penalties against airlines for carrying too many infected passengers.

“Optimizing and adjusting prevention and control measures is not relaxing prevention and control, let alone opening up and ‘flattening’, but adapting to the new situation of epidemic prevention and control. and new features of [Chinese coronavirus] mutation”, the NHC said defensively when rolling out the new guidelines. “To lay down” is a Chinese euphemism which means “to loosen up”.

The world times reassured readers that Guangzhou residents remain confident in their city’s “strong management capabilities and humane care.”

“Daily supplies and medical resources are still sufficient, anti-epidemic measures are targeted and dynamic, and the one-stop approach to controlling the epidemic is barely visible,” the official said. world times affirmed, addressing the major concerns that might be forming in the minds of Guangzhou residents as they reminisce about the lockdown horrors in other cities.

“Despite increasing pressure, the city is following a scientific and people-oriented principle during the epidemic,” Guangzhou medical expert Zhuang Shilihe said. Promising a people-centered approach instead of a one-size-fits-all approach is the Communist Party’s way of saying “it won’t be like Shanghai” without admitting that the Party has done anything wrong in Shanghai.

The Chinese government announcement 10,535 new infections on Friday, the highest number since Shanghai’s lockdown began. Guangzhou has reported more than 2,000 infections for the fourth straight day, most of them in a densely populated district called Haizhu which has been under a strict “stay at home” lockdown.

Zhengzhou, home to the massive and beleaguered Foxconn factory for assembling iPhones, said its cases had doubled to nearly 2,988 a day, while Beijing reported a daily record of 118 cases. The coronavirus outbreak was large enough to necessitate the cancellation of the Beijing Auto Show.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *