Some China areas extend their lockdowns and testing amid COVID-19 omicron variant spread

Some China areas extend their lockdowns and testing amid COVID-19 omicron variant spread

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Major Chinese cities, including Shanghai, have instituted mass testing sites and are extending lockdown mandates amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Chinese government reported approximately 390 daily infections over the span of 7 days ending on Sunday, according to Reuters calculations using official data on Monday. These new numbers showed a jump in the number of infections, from the 340 cases from the previous 7-day period. 

Shanghai reported more than a dozen new cases Monday, none of which were found to have originated outside a quarantined area. 

Shanghai is still recovering from its nearly two-month lockdown in the spring following a spike in COVID-19 cases that forced its 24 million residents to remain indoors for the majority of the lockdown. The result proved a significant blow to the country’s economy. Re-emerging lockdown restrictions are now stirring concerns across the internet. 

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“I’m speechless,” a Shanghai resident told Reuters. “It sounds like a waste of resources that doesn’t address the real problem.”

A worker in a protective suit removes cordon lines near fences amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China May 25, 2022. 

A worker in a protective suit removes cordon lines near fences amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China May 25, 2022.  (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

The recent outbreak has been tied to a karaoke parlor that opened during lockdown without authorization and failed to implement prevention measures amongst both its employees and customers, the city’s department of culture and tourism said, according to the Associated Press. 

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“The virus spreads quickly because such entertainment venues are mostly indoor and closed, with frequent movement of people, high concentrations of people and inadequate personal protection measures,” Zhao Dandan, deputy director of Shanghai’s municipal health commission, told the AP. 

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a staff members wearing masks work at a workshop in an industry park in Qingpu District of Shanghai, east China, May 17, 2022.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a staff members wearing masks work at a workshop in an industry park in Qingpu District of Shanghai, east China, May 17, 2022. ((Zhao Yihe/Xinhua via AP))

Northern cities, including Lanzhou and Tianjin, have also launched mass testing sites and lockdown measures, varying depending on each individual city’s case numbers. Beijing, another of China’s major cities, found two cases Monday after a week of zero infections. All infected buildings have been sealed off.

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Reuters contributed to this report.