Southern Chinese city locks down district in zero-Covid fight

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The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has locked down its largest district as it tries to control a major Covid-19 outbreak.

Public transport has been suspended in the Baiyun area, and residents are required to present a negative test if they want to leave their homes.

The outbreak is testing China’s attempt to bring a more targeted approach to its zero-Covid policies while facing multiple outbreaks.

China is the only major country in the world still trying to curb virus transmissions through strict lockdown measures and mass testing.

Someone wearing a mask in Beijing
China is the only major world nation trying to control the virus through strict lockdowns (AP)

Meanwhile in Beijing, the capital reported two more Covid-19-related deaths. On Sunday, the city reported its first Covid-19 death in over six months.

While critics have questioned China’s Covid-19 numbers, and specifically its death toll, its intensive approach to trying to contain infections has prevented massive outbreaks and kept new daily cases lower than in many other countries.

Last week, China announced that it was relaxing some of its zero-Covid policies, such as suspending flights from airlines that had brought a certain number of passengers who tested positive.

Covid tests queue in Beijing
Residents line up for Covid-19 tests in Beijing (AP)

The relaxation of some measures is an attempt to make the policies more “scientific and precise”, Lei Haichao, the deputy director of the National Health Commission, said last week.

Larger cities are still holding on to some of the tested measures, though in a more fragmented manner than shutting down an entire city, which had been done previously.

Shijiazhuang, a city in northern Hebei province, is testing all residents in six districts. In Beijing’s Haidian district, home to the city’s tech hub and top universities, educational establishments shut down in-person classes.

Guangdong province, home to Guangzhou, reported the largest number of new cases on Monday, with 9,085 out of a total of 27,095 cases nationwide.

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