China Begins Mass Testing at Guangzhou Manufacturing Hub to Fight City’s Worst COVID Outbreak

China Begins Mass Testing at Guangzhou Manufacturing Hub to Fight City’s Worst COVID Outbreak

Millions of residents of southern China’s Guangzhou manufacturing hub have been asked to get tested for COVID-19 as infections topped 2,000 for two consecutive days in the city’s worst outbreak to date. the moment.

As local cases in China reached their highest level since April 30, authorities announced that five districts representing more than half of Guangzhou’s population of nearly 19 million would undergo mass testing.

It comes as China battles a spike in infections in several economically vital cities, including the capital Beijing, as well as Zhengzhou and Chongqing.

That has dashed hopes that the world’s second-largest economy could ease curbs and restrictions soon.

Authorities are determined to control outbreaks and abide by President Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID policy, without having to impose massive lockdowns like the ones that shut down Shanghai earlier this year.

Image of a long line of people wearing face masks on a street
COVID cases in China are small by world standards, but relentless mass testing has been the norm since 2020.(Reuters: Thomas Peter)

Guangzhou districts subject to mass testing this week include Haizhu, which has seen the largest share of the city’s cases.

A district-wide lockdown from Saturday to Monday has been extended into Friday as cases rise.

“My residential complex in Tianhe [district] been locked up since yesterday,” said Jason Li, a Guangzhou resident.

“Residents were ordered not to leave our building.”

Li said he had not been told how long his compound would be closed.

“Thank goodness I’ve stocked up on groceries recently,” he said.

Image of a child and a medical officer.
Guangzhou recently reported nearly a third of all new local infections across the country.(Reuters: Aly’s Song)

Guangzhou resident Lily Li said the outbreak in the city had worsened in the past two days and had spread to Tianhe, just north of Haizhu.

“Honestly, it’s already a big surprise that Tianhe hasn’t been hit before,” he said.

Guangzhou reported 2,637 new locally transmitted COVID cases on Nov. 8, up from 2,377 the day before.

That’s almost a third of the 8,176 new local infections reported in China that day.

COVID testing strains smaller towns

In the latest sign of how anti-virus measures are crushing consumer demand, China’s factory gate prices for October fell for the first time since December 2020 and consumer inflation moderated, in part due to tight restrictions. from COVID.

Apple supplier Foxconn said it would continue a system in which staff live on site at its iPhone plant, even as the area where the factory was lifted under a seven-day lockdown.

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