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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Beijing imposes more restrictions due to new COVID wave

BEIJING ( Associated Press) – Beijing, the capital of China, 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 were confined to their homes in the southern industrial city of Guangzhou and the western megacity Chongqing on Friday.

The country reported 10,729 new infections on Friday, almost all of whom tested positive without showing symptoms.

Among the tests that Beijing’s 21 million residents undergo almost daily, the sprawling city reported 118 more cases.

Many schools in the capital moved to online classes, hospitals restricted their services, some shops and restaurants were closed, and their staff was furloughed. Various videos posted on social media showed people protesting or clashing with police and medical personnel in some areas.

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Chinese officials vowed on Thursday to respond to the public’s frustration over its strict “Covid zero” strategy, which has rattled the economy and resulted in millions of people confined to their homes.

No further details were given other than a commitment to assist “stranded people” who have been in quarantine or who have been prevented from leaving cities that have reported cases for weeks.

With its “Covid-zero” policy, China has kept its infection rate relatively low, but has taken its toll on the economy and disrupted life by closing schools, factories and shops or isolating neighborhoods without warning. Is.

Faced with a new surge in cases, a growing number of areas are closing businesses and restricting the movement of people. To enter office buildings, shopping malls or other public places, people are required to show a negative test result at least once a day.

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As economic growth weakened again after rebounding to 3.9% from the previous year in the first three months ending September, experts had predicted bold measures aimed at reopening the country, which borders are largely closed.

President Xi Jinping, the leader of the ruling Communist Party, is scheduled to make a rare foreign trip next week. Xi has shown little sign of retreating from a policy that the party has closely associated with social stability and the primacy of the ruler’s policies.

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