SHANGHAI (Bloomberg): Shanghai reported a second day of elevated levels of new coronavirus infections, fuelling fears China’s financial hub may ramp up movement restrictions again, while cases flared in the eastern province of Shandong.
The city announced 45 new local infections for Thursday, following 54 reported for Wednesday, the highest since late May. Officials said Thursday’s cases were all detected in quarantine and management control, which includes infections that were found in residential compounds under lockdown.
There’s been a spike this week in the number of areas Shanghai classifies as mid- and high-risk, usually housing complexes where infected people live, reflecting that the flareup is widely scattered across the city of 25 million people. By Friday, there were more than a hundred mid-risk areas and seven high-risk areas, up from 4 mid-risk and 1 high-risk area at the start of the week.
After a brief reprieve in which officials declared the outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing under control, China’s Covid Zero policy is being tested again with resurgences in major cities and the arrival of the sub-variant BA.5. President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed the country will stick to Covid Zero, saying that China would rather endure some temporary impact on economic development than let the virus hurt people’s safety and health.
Elsewhere, Shandong province detected 66 local cases, after reporting no infections last week. Anhui reported 157, Hangzhou found two cases and Beijing announced no local cases. Nationwide, China saw 378 local cases for Thursday, continuing an upward trend.