Xi says ‘must not relax Covid control' amid wide concerns: 10 updates

China has been witnessing a surge in Covid cases in the last two years after a spell of nearly two years. 
FILE PHOTO: People pass edible oil over the barriers at a street market under lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China. (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: People pass edible oil over the barriers at a street market under lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China. (REUTERS)
Published on Apr 14, 2022 08:30 AM IST
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China must not relax Covid control and prevention measures, president Xi Jinping has said in his latest remarks as the country continues to battle a surge driven by the Omicron variant. But reports suggest that patience is wearing thin among locals in the financial hub of Shanghai - that has emerged as the latest hotspot - as the authorities continue to underline on zero Covid tolerance - a policy that is said to have helped the country keep cases under a check soon after the start of the pandemic. Presently, the costs - aggravated by curbs - seem to be rising too.

Here's the latest on China's Covid surge:

1. "Prevention and control work cannot be relaxed," Xi was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg report as he visited the island province of Hainan. The Covid spike has emerged as a challenge for the Chinese leader who is expected to seek a third term in the autumn of 2022 during a Communist Party congress.

2. Earlier vice premier Sun Chunlan was quoted as saying in reports that China would be clinging to its "dynamic zero-Covid" strategy "without hesitation or wavering."

3. Millions of people have been locked in the city of Shanghai, triggering frustration among masses. Visuals shared on social media have shown people shouting from their houses.

4. Premier Li Keqiang has repeatedly warned of risks to economic growth, and the central bank is expected to cut its key policy interest rate for the second time this year on Friday, according to Bloomberg.

5. In mainland China, 3020 new cases were reported on Wednesday, according to Reuters, as compared to 1,513 cases a day earlier. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately, stood at 26,391 compared with 26,525 a day earlier.

6. Shanghai registered 25,146 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases and 2,573 new symptomatic cases. A day earlier, 25,141 new cases were recorded.

7. The city is also said to be battling with a BA.2 driven surge like some European nations, including France, Germany and Italy.

8. Shortages of food, medicine and stringent lockdown measures have made life difficult for the Chinese residents. Earlier this week, authorities assured cubs would be eased.

9. The tough lockdown measures have helped the country keep cases under control even as the US and other nations saw unprecedented surge.

10. However, in the last two months, the country has yet again seen an uptick after a break of nearly two years.

(With inputs from Reuters and Bloomberg)

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