China’s single-day Covid cases hit record high with over 30,000 infections

More than 30,000 Covid cases were detected in China, making it one of the highest one-day rise since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the National Health Bureau, China recorded 31,454 local cases on Wednesday, of which 27,517 were without symptoms.

Before Wednesday’s figures, the highest-ever infections recorded in a single day was 29,390 in mid-April in Shanghai. Residents had to scramble to buy food and restricted access to medical care after it was out under lockdown.

The cases were mainly recorded in the southern province of Guangdong, Chongqing municipality in the southwest and the capital city of Beijing.

The number may appear to be small compared to the large population size of 1.4 billion, but the spurt of cases being detected despite the zero-Covid policy in place has rattled the officials.

The surge in cases comes when China has been looking to ease restrictions to mitigate the social and economic effects of zero-Covid policy.

Under the draconian policy, even a small outbreak can result in an entire city being shut down and close contacts being placed into strict quarantine.

Earlier, China came out with a 20-point plan to ease restrictions, including reducing the quarantine period and scrapping mass testing when the risk of transmission is low.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, had asked authorities to enforce the new guidelines while also containing outbreaks.

On Wednesday, the Beijing health authorities asked the companies to reduce the number of working people in offices, strictly monitor their health and increase sanitation.

In Shanghai, travellers have been barred from entering public venues including restaurants, shopping centres, supermarkets, gyms and internet cafes for five days, reports South China Morning Post newspaper.

(With inputs from agencies)

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