China’s capital Beijing has closed parks and imposed other restrictions due to the new wave of COVID-19 cases facing the country.
The move came as more than 5 million people remained confined to their homes in the southern industrial city of Guangzhou and the western megacity of Chongqing on Friday.
The country reported 10,729 new infections on Friday, almost all of whom tested positive without showing symptoms.
Amid the tests that the bulk of Beijing’s 21 million inhabitants undergo almost daily, 118 more cases were registered in the gigantic city.
Many schools in the capital switched to online classes, hospitals restricted their services, some shops and restaurants were closed, and their staff quarantined. Various videos posted on social media showed people protesting or clashing with police and medical workers in some parts.
Chinese authorities vowed on Thursday to respond to public frustration over their strict “COVID zero” strategy that has upended the economy and resulted in millions being confined to their homes.
No further details have been given except for the commitment to assist the “stranded people” who have remained in quarantine or who have been prevented for weeks from leaving cities that have registered cases.
With its “COVID-zero” policy, China has kept its infection rates relatively low, but has taken its toll on the economy and disrupted lives by closing schools, factories, and shops, or isolating neighborhoods without warning.
Faced with the new increase in cases, a growing number of areas are closing businesses and restricting the movement of people. In order to enter office buildings, shopping malls or other public places, people are required to show a negative test result at least once a day.
As economic growth has weakened again after a 3.9% rebound over the previous year in the first three months ending in September, experts had predicted bolder measures aimed at reopening the country, whose borders remain largely closed. measure.
President Xi Jinping, leader of the ruling Communist Party, is scheduled to make a rare trip abroad next week. Xi has given little sign of backing down from a policy the party has closely associated with social stability and the preponderance of the ruler’s policies.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.